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EndNote: Adding References

Adding References to Your Library

Manual entry of references into EndNote

To open a new reference, either click on the New Reference icon, select References > New on the menu bar, or use CTRL-N. Once you have opened a new reference:

  1. Select a Reference Type (e.g. book, journal article) from the drop-down menu. This will ensure that the right fields appear.
  2. Type the details of the item into the appropriate fields of the record.
  3. Save the reference by selecting the Save button, or by closing the record and selecting Yes on the dialog box asking if you wish to save.

Notes and Troubleshooting for Adding References

The examples below use APA style, but the tips will help you keep your library consistent regardless of the style you use.

  • For works with multiple authors, enter each author on a separate line.
  • Use the format Last Name, First.
    • EndNote will be able to display most author names correctly when formatted as First Name Last (e.g. John Smith), but not all.
    • If an author has a last name with multiple parts, such as Smith-Jones or de la Cruz, using the format Last, First Name will help EndNote display the name correctly.
      • If you enter de la Cruz, Jane - your in-text citation will be: (de la Cruz, 2010). This is correct.
      • If you enter Jane de la Cruz - your in-text citation will be: (Cruz, 2010). This is incorrect.
  • If the author of a work is an organisation or group, then enter the name and put a comma at the end:
    • e.g. World Health Organisation,
    • Troubleshooting: If your in-text citations are showing only part of the group's name, e.g. (Organisation, 2018) instead of (World Health Organisation, 2018), this could be the problem. EndNote will try to read a name as a person's name, and will take "Organisaton" to be the surname of "World Health Organisation". Placing a comma at the end of the organisation's name tells EndNote to treat the whole name as one unit.
  • Decide on a consistent way to enter author names. For example, always spelling out the author's full first name (Smith, John), or always putting a full stop after an initial (Smith, J. instead of Smith, J).
    • Troubleshooting: If your in-text citations are showing more than just the last name of an author, e.g. (John Smith, 2013) and (John W. Smith, 2012), this could be the problem. If one author's name is entered in two different ways, EndNote will not know that it is the same author. It will treat those entries as two different authors with similar names, and will add in as much of the rest of the names as it needs to differentiate between the two.
    • Tip: When you enter a name in EndNote that you have not used before, EndNote will display the name in red. If you know that you already have other references with this same author, check how you entered the name in those other references.
  • Use correct capitalisation and spelling for the name. EndNote will not correct the spelling or capitalisation in any reference: the names will appear as you typed them into the record.
  • Don't include any other special formatting. EndNote will automatically apply the italics and underlining specified in the referencing style you have chosen.

Directly Importing References into EndNote

Direct importing allows you to download the reference information you need from the database or catalogue you use to search for sources. You can import references from ECU WorldSearch, Google Scholar, and most databases using any browser. This is usually found under a "Cite" or "Export" option, and will download a file that usually has a .ris or .enw extension.

Open the file, and specify that you would like to open it with EndNote.

When you import references into your EndNote library, they will first appear in a group called Imported References. This group will show only the references added in your last import, and provides an excellent opportunity to proof-read these references and make any changes you need to make to ensure that your references are accurate and complete. All references, regardless of what groups they appear in, are always available to view through All References.

What Fields Should I Use for My Reference?

EndNote has been programmed to work with a large number of styles, which means that it is not always set up to work perfectly with any one specific style. You might find that the fields do not use the labels your referencing style uses, and you do not need to include any more information in your EndNote library than is required by the referencing styles you use.

Occasionally, the field or reference type you're looking for in EndNote does not actually exist. However, there is usually a workaround that will allow you to display your references correctly in your document.

We encourage testing different fields and checking the formatted preview to see if it looks the way you expect for your style.

Screenshot of the EndNote reference preview.

If you're having trouble finding the right field, reach out to the library ( with an explanation of what you're trying to do, and we should be able to assist you.