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Citation guides



You can use EndNote to search online information resources, such as the McGill Library Catalogue or Databases A-Z, and import references into your own personal database. This database, which is fully searchable, can then be used to generate reference lists and bibliographies for publications, assignments and reports.

With our university-wide site license for these software packages, McGill students, faculty, and staff can download them free of charge.

Download icon

EndNote is installed on all library computers as well as other locations on campus. 

EndNote Online, which is accessed and used on the web, is also available to the McGill community.

EndNote Online (Web) 

EndNote Online can be used alone or in tandem with the desktop version. Users can import references from online databases and catalogues, organize references in folders and store them online, and transfer references directly between the web and desktop versions of EndNote. In addition, the web-based version allows you to share folders, enabling collaboration with colleagues.

To sign up for an account on EndNote Online:

  1. Go to

    NOTE: to create the account, you must sign in from a computer on the McGill campus, sign in to your McGill account, or activate your off-campus connection (VPN).

  2. Click on Sign Up
  3. Enter the required information into the mandatory fields, marked with an asterisk (*). Take note of the password guidelines!

All subsequent logins require your email address and this new password.

Your EndNote Online account grants roaming access to your references from any computer with an internet connection for one year after your last log-in from a computer on the McGill network.

EndNote support at McGill

If you need help with EndNote, e-mail a McGill EndNote specialist for answers to your questions or to schedule a one-on-one consultation.

You can also check our list of frequently asked questions to see if your question is answered there.

The library also offers classes and workshops that will teach you how to use EndNote.

Other EndNote resources

Classes and workshops

Attend an EndNote workshop - McGill Library offers hands-on instruction and in getting started with EndNote. Check our schedule below.

Endnote X7 Workshop Outline 2013/4

What’s new in EndNote X7?

EndNote users will notice few changes in the update from version X6 to X7. However, some new features include:

  • A new plugin for adding citations and reference lists to Microsoft Powerpoint slides - It is now possible to use Endnote X7 to manage citations and reference lists in a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation.  This functionality will be available for Windows only.
  • Subheadings for bibliographies in Microsoft Word - Bibliographies created using Cite While You Write can now include subheadings, for example for "Primary Sources" and "Secondary Sources".
  • Enhanced PDF import options - Endnote X7 introduces new options for importing and organising PDF's, such as the option to automatically rename imports.

The latest version of EndNote also enables users to:

  • Use new reference types such as Interview, Podcast, Conference Paper, and Press Release.
  • Make use of expanded options for formatting with over 5,000 bibliographic reference styles.
  • Benefit from background synchronization so your work is continuously saved and always available online and accessible through your iPad.

A 6-minute video demo of the software, including a summary of new features, is available on the EndNote website.

The EndNote manual can be accessed through the program's help files. The full PDF manual can be downloaded here.

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I use a Macintosh computer. Will I have any problems using EndNote?

EndNote is available for download in a version that is compatible with Macintosh. Click here for more information about compatibility.

For EndNote version X7, the Cite While You Write function is compatible with Pages ‘09 and Word 2008 and 2011. It is not yet compatible with Word 2016.

EndNote library files created on a Mac can be opened on a Windows computer and vice versa.

The Safari and Google Chrome browsers often do not work for exporting references directly to EndNote, so Firefox should be used instead.

Sometimes the EndNote tools are not installed in Word for Macs. If you do not see the EndNote tools in Word, follow these instructions

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Which word processing programs are compatible with EndNote?

Click here for the latest compatibility information.

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What is a ...?

What is a filter?

A filter is a file that acts an interface that allows EndNote to interpret the parts of references that have been saved in a file (i.e., downloaded from an online catalogue or database). The filter allows EndNote to import the file.

What is a connection file?

Connection files allow you to search and import references from online databases and catalogues, using EndNote itself as a search interface. EndNote connection files are available for library catalogues and a limited number of online databases.

What is an output style?

Output style files act as templates that show EndNote how to arrange the information in each of your EndNote references when you’re creating citations and bibliographies.

Styles include discipline-specific citation styles such as APA (social sciences), MLA (humanities), and CSE (biological sciences), or styles established for specific journals (Journal of Politics, The Lancet, etc.)

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I need to use a connection file or filter that is not already installed on EndNote. What can I do?

When you download EndNote on your own computer, a selected set of common connection files and filters is included. However, these do not correspond directly to the connection files and filters for databases to which we have access at McGill. If you are using EndNote on a library computer, the connection files and filters are already installed for many of our databases. This customized set of files is also automatically installed for Macs, but has to be downloaded separately for Windows computers.

To access the additional files on a Windows computer, return to the page for downloading EndNote through McGill.

  1. Scroll down to "How to Request Access" and click on the Windows link.
  2. Login with your McGill Username and McGill Password.
  3. In the new page that opens, click EndNote X7 win.
  4.  Click Connector_Filter_Styles to download the files. 

The file name will be endnote_x5_win_downloader. Click on the icon for the file. If you have already installed EndNote, a pop-up message will ask you if you want to view the file in a folder. Click Yes. Then click on the folder labeled EndNote. Next, click on the folder called Additional EndNote Files specific to McGill users. This folder contains three sub-folders: X5_Connection_files_for_McGill, X5_filters_for_McGill, and X5_styles_for_McGill.

You can copy one or more of these files to your own EndNote folders for connection files, filters, and output styles. The location of your folders depends on your operating system, but it is typically located at C:\Program Files\EndNote X7 or My Documents\EndNote X7. You can see the location of your folders by going to the Edit menu in EndNote and choosing Preferences. Click on Folder Locations to see the file paths.

If you don't see the style, filter, or connection file that you need, or if you no longer have the installer package, you can check the EndNote website for additional files.

The filter and connection file for the McGill Library Classic catalogue can be downloaded from this page.

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I already have my references in a bibliography that I typed in Word. Can I transfer these references to EndNote?

Generally speaking, there is no easy way of transferring a bibliography in a Word document into EndNote. As one EndNote user puts it: "it's very difficult to import 'human-readable' typed references into EndNote because there are no tags to show which parts of the reference should go into the individual 'slots' of an endnote record."

There are a few ways that it can be done (at least partially), but in many cases it would be easier to just collect the references in EndNote through another method.

Here are some options (modified from

  • Manually enter all your data into EndNote, using copy-and-paste.
  • Locate the references in a database or library catalogue, and download them to EndNote using direct export or a filter. If the database or catalogue can be searched using an EndNote connection file, this will speed up the process.
  • Use the free citation management program Zotero to extract references via CrossRef.
    1. Install the free citation management program Zotero
    2. Register for a CrossRef account
    3. Paste your bibliography into the CrossRef query box
    4. Use Zotero to extract the references from the resulting page (see Zotero tutorials here)
    5. Export the references from Zotero to EndNote (instructions)
  • Create your own tagged file and filter to import the references from the Word document into EndNote. Instructions for this are here and here.
  • If most of your citations are included in the PubMed database (for medicine), you can use the HubMed Citation Finder to locate the citations. Instructions are posted here on an EndNote user forum.
  • Use the free web-based citation manager WizFolio. While it is NOT perfect, the program allows you to paste in a reference list (e.g., copied from a Word document or PDF), and it extracts the information into formats that are readable by citation management software. After you have extracted the references, you can export them all as a RIS file, which can then be imported into EndNote. This method will require that you check your references for errors in data entry, but it can save time in the long run.
  • Mac users can install Ref2RIS, which will convert a bibliography (in TXT, RTF, DOC, DOCX, ODT, HTML, or webarchive) into the RIS format that EndNote can read. Some editing will be required!

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How do I import citations from Refworks, Reference Manager, or ProCite into EndNote?

  • To import citations from RefWorks into Endnote, please see the following guide from the EndNote website.
  • To import citations from Reference Manager into EndNote, please see these instructions from the EndNote website.
  • To import citations from ProCite into EndNote, please see these instructions from the EndNote website.

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How can I search the McGill Library catalogue directly through EndNote?

EndNote allows you to search some databases and library catalogues directly from within the EndNote program. With this option, you don't need to go outside the EndNote program to collect references.

From library computers, you can directly search the library catalogue directly through EndNote by going to the Tools menu, selecting Online Search, and then selecting “McGill U.”

If you’re using your own computer, you first need to download the McGill Library connection file from this page. Once the file is installed in your connection file folder, you will be able to select the online search function.

Save the downloaded files in your Connections folder, which is typically located at Program Files\EndNote X7\Connections, or to your personal Connections folder. You can see the location of your Styles folder by going to the Edit menu in EndNote and choosing Preferences. Click on Folder Locations.

To change a folder location, click the Select Folder button, open the folder that you would like to designate as the new Style, Filter, or Connection folder, and click Select Folder.

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How can I search other databases directly through EndNote?

EndNote allows you to search some databases and library catalogues directly from within the EndNote program. This option, called online search, allows you collect references wihtout needing to go to the database's own website. Note, however, that it only works for some databases, not all of them!

If you are prompted for a password when using the online search function, leave the boxes blank and click "OK." If the database is set up to work for McGill, you can then conduct your search.

If you are off campus, you will first need to connect to McGill's Virtual Private Network before using the online search feature. It doesn't work with EZProxy (the library's other system for off-campus access).

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How can I export records from McGill’s WorldCat Local catalogue to EndNote?

Citations can be directly exported from WorldCat Local. From the full record for an item, click on the icon labeled “Cite/Export” and then choose “Export to EndNote.” The citation should be directly transferred to your open EndNote library (if prompted, choose the option to OPEN the file).

endnote worldcat

You can export more than one reference at once by creating lists in WorldCat. This requires that you first sign up for a WorldCat account. To do this, click on WorldCat sign in in the upper right corner of any page and then click on create a free account. You can add items to your lists from the full record. To export a list of references to EndNote, go to the WorldCat link on the right side of the page and choose “My Lists.” Click on the list name to view it, then choose the “Citations View” tab to export the references to EndNote.

Video of this procedure:

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How can I export records from McGill’s Classic catalogue?

  1. Conduct a search at
  2. Click on the check box next to the records that you want to save.
  3. Click on the Save/Mail tab.
  4. Select Reference manager (RIS) from the drop-down menu under Record format. If you are saving transliterated non-Roman script records (Russian, Arabic, Chinese, etc.); also set the encoding to Unicode/UFT-8.
  5. Click on the Save/Mail option
  6. Confirm your request on the next screen and click on save to download the file.
  7. Select the destination folder (Save in...) for your file, such as your desktop. The default file name is mcgillcat-[number].end. The number is unique for each saved set.
  8. To import the file into EndNote use the Reference Manager (RIS) filter or the McGill filter, which provides call numbers for the records.

If you’re using your own computer, you first need to download the McGill Library filter from this page. Once the file is installed in your filter folder, you will be able to select the online search function.

Save the downloaded filter in your Filters folder, which is typically located at Program Files\EndNote X7\Filters, or to your personal Connections folder. You can see the location of your Filters folder by going to the Edit menu in EndNote and choosing Preferences. Click on Folder Locations.

To change a folder location, click the Select Folder button, open the folder that you would like to designate as the new Style, Filter, or Connection folder, and click Select Folder. See also this information about getting additional filters.

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How do I know which databases are set up to export references directly into EndNote?

A partial list of databases that are configured to directly transfer reference to EndNote is available on the EndNote website. Most databases that are NOT on this list therefore require you to save references to a file on your computer and then import the references into EndNote using a import filter. You can get instructions for individual filters through the EndNote program. Go to the Edit menu, choose Import Filters, and select Open Filter Manager. Click on the name of a resources to view further information.

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How do I use the "Find Full Text" feature in EndNote?

After you have a reference in your EndNote library, you can click on the Find Full Text button to have EndNote seek, automatically download, and attach a PDF version of available articles. For best results, you should first configure the Find Full Text settings in your EndNote program.

To do this:

  • Open the EndNote program, go to the Edit menu, and choose Preferences.
  • Click on the option for Find Full Text. Make sure the following options are selected: Web of Knowledge Full Text Links, DOI (Digital Object Identifier), PubMed LinkOut (U.S. National Library of Medicine).
  • The OpenURL Find Full Text option is currently not working properly for our resources, however we are investigating the situation. The OpenURL Path for McGill Library is, and does assist in checking our holdings via References > URL > OpenURL Link if you add it here.

If you are not on the McGill network, an additional configuration is needed. To do this, you have two options. First, you can activate an off-campus connection (VPN). Alternatively, you can enter the following text in the Find Full Text option labelled "Authenticate With": You will then be prompted to login with your McGill email address and password.

Please note that the Find Full Text feature does not have a high success rate. Because there are many variables involved, including how the publisher/database authenticates users, the automatic download of PDFs doesn't always work. You will have more success with items whose records include a DOI or other standard numbers, but it's not 100%.

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What do I need to know if I'm off-campus?

EndNote desktop version

The “online search” function, which allows users to search databases remotely through the EndNote interface, does not work with EZproxy, McGill's off-campus authentication service. However, you can still use the online search function with free databases such as PubMed and library catalogues as well as with Web of Science.

Additionally, to optimize the “Find Full Text" feature when you’re off-campus, see the instructions above in "How do I use the "Find Full Text" feature in EndNote?"


EndNote Web

In order to sign up for an EndNote Web account from off-campus, you need to first identify (authenticate) yourself as a McGill library user. You can do this using a special link to EndNote Web:

After creating an account, you should sign in using this link if you want to access McGill’s article subscriptions through links you’ve saved in EndNote Web.

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How do I export a large number of records from an EBSCOhost database?

In the EBSCOhost interface, search results typically need to be added to a folder in order to be exported to EndNote together. Up to 50 records can be added to your folder at a time (the maximum number that can appear on a page of results), forcing the user to scroll through each page of results, adding 50 records to the folder.

An alternative to this process, when one has 100s or 1000s of records to export, is the “Export All Records feature that appears when clicking, “Alert, Save, Share” on the results screen:

endnote ebsco

This feature can be used to export up to 5000 records resulting from an EBSCOhost search. Select “Export All Records (Up to xxx)” and enter the information on the form that is displayed:

endnote ebsco

Be certain to select the option to email a link for “Endnote, ProCite, or Reference Manager format” before clicking on “Send.”

Once completed, EBSCO will send an email directly to your inbox (be sure to check any Junk Mail or Spam folder) within 24 hours. The email will contain a link to a website where the entire set of records can be saved to a computer and imported using the correct database filter. EBSCO makes this link available for 72 hours once it is posted, and then removes it.

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How can I make changes to a particular field (such as adding keywords) for a batch of references in my library?

1. Select all of the citations that you want to update (To select a whole group, go to Edit > Select All ; or CTRL-A)

2. Select Tools > Change and Move Fields

2. Select the field from the list that you want to update. For example, "keywords"

3. Select "Insert before field's text:"

4. Enter the text that you want to appear in the field

5.  From the Insert Special menu > select Carriage return

6. Click ok.

This video demonstrates how to add your own keywords to a batch of references that have just been imported.

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I have references in my EndNote library – how do I create a quick bibliography?

  1. Choose the citation style in which you would like your bibliography formatted by using the output style pull-down menu in EndNote.
  2. Select all of the references in your EndNote library that you would like to be included in your bibliography.
  3. Click on the <Edit> menu in EndNote and choose <Copy Formatted>.
  4. Paste in your word processing document. Proofread your bibliography and make any necessary changes (e.g. APA style calls for bibliographies to be double-spaced throughout).

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The citation style that I want to use isn't available in the list of styles in EndNote. What do I do?

Additional styles are available for download from the EndNote website. If you don't see the style you want in the list of styles in EndNote’s Style Manager, check the EndNote website

Copy the downloaded files to your Styles folder, which is typically located at Program Files\EndNote X5\Styles, or to your personal Styles folder. You can see the location of your Styles folder by going to the Edit menu in EndNote and choosing Preferences. Click on Folder Locations.

To change a folder location, click the Select Folder button, open the folder that you would like to designate as the new Style, Filter, or Connection folder, and click Select Folder. Existing output style files can also be modified (see How can I modify a citation style?)

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How can I modify a citation style?

To modify an existing style, go to the “Edit” menu in EndNote and click “Output Styles”, then “Edit...” (the style that you have chosen to edit will be listed in the menu).

In the left-hand pane, go down to the “Bibliography” section and click “Templates.” You will see a list of several different types of references. For each one, you can remove elements, or add new ones using the “Insert Field” button located at the right of the screen.

If you need to change the in-text citation as well, follow the same procedure but select “Templates” in the “Citations” section. You can browse the other options for additional ways to edit the style.

Make sure to save the style under a new name. See this question for information about saving your styles folder.

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Some citation styles require abbreviated journal names. How can EndNote abbreviate them for me?

For instructions on loading journal term lists, which match up full titles with abbreviated titles, please see this FAQ. Also, this video tutorial will walk you through the steps. Finally, this PDF guide [ How to abbreviate journal titles in EndNote ] provides more detail for the instructions listed below.

In EndNote, you will have to edit an Output style in order to make it abbreviate journal titles. This involves a number of steps:

  1. Open Endnote. Select the library that you want to work with.
  2. In the main menu, go to Tools > Define Term Lists.
  3. A box will open up called Term Lists. Click the Lists tab. Click the Create List button.
  4. A box called Term List Name will open.
    • Enter a name for your list in this box. (e.g. Journal abbreviations)
    • Tick off the Journal List option.
    • Close box.
  5. In the Term Lists box that is still open, click the Link Lists button.
    • A box will open up called Linking Fields with Term Lists.
    • In the Journal (Secondary Title) field, click on the drop-down menu and select the name of the list you just created (e.g. Journal abbreviations)
    • Click the OK button.
  6. Click the Terms tab. Select the New Term button.
  7. A New Term box will open.
    • In Full Journal field, enter the full title of the journal you wish to abbreviate.
    • In the Abbreviation 1 field, enter the appropriate abbreviation.
    • Click the Save Journal button, and close the box.
  8. In the main menu, go to Edit >Output Styles > Open Output Styles.
    • Select the output style you wish to edit. Click the Edit button.
  9. A new window will open.
    • In the sidepane, click Journal Names.
    • Click the Abbreviation 1 option.
  10. Save style under a new name (e.g. [Citation Style] – abbreviated version)
  11. Close this window. In your main window, select your newly modified output style.
  12. You will now be able to see the abbreviated journal title in the Preview pane. (Provided that you choose the output style that you modified, and click on a citation listing the particular journal that you had abbreviated).

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