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EndNote is a bibliographical management software package. You can use it to:

  • Collect and organise all your references in one place.
  • Manage the PDFs and other files of all the full-text sources you download.
  • Automatically format and update the references in your assignments (Cite While you Write).
  • Share your Endnote Library


It's a complex program so learning the ins and outs of EndNote can take a while. But the time you put into learning EndNote will be time saved when it comes to doing your referencing.

This guide covers the basics, as well as some more advanced features of EndNote. Check out the Steps of learning  EndNote in the next tab.

These are the key steps to using EndNote.

Step 1 - Start by getting an EndNote overview:


Step 2 - Install EndNote and set up EndNote Web

EndNote is available free of charge to all Flinders University staff and students. See installation instructions in the 'getting started' section of this guide.

Step 3 - Create your Library

To create a new Library open EndNote, select File > New and give your Library a name. Your Library will save as a .enl file. Your EndNote Library is made up of two files: your .enl file and your .Data folder.

EndNote Data Folder and Library

You should only create one Library for all your references and use the 'Groups' feature to organise them.

Step 4 - Adding References to your EndNote Library

  • Learn how to manually create a record and enter data.
  • how the different record fields work - critical to know when direct exporting from Library databases.
  • how to attach full text PDFs to your records

The best way to get records into your EndNote Library is to direct export them. Choose your favourite database, run a search, mark items and export the results to your Library.

Always check that the reference type and record data are accurate and complete after each direct export.

Step 5 - Organise your Library using Groups

Learn how to create custom groups to organise your references:


Step 6 - Attach full text to references easily

Use the find full text feature to search for and automatically attach the full text of multiple references at once.


Step 7 - Sync and Back up your Library

It is very important that you regularly back up your EndNote Library.

You can do this easily by creating a compressed file, by going to File > Compressed Library (.enlx) and following the prompts. This will create a zipped file of your EndNote Library (.enl) and .Data folder which you can rename (e.g. Backup [with date]), and save somewhere safe.


Step 8 - Use EndNote with Word

Learn how to use your EndNote Library to:

  • insert citations into your paper and create a bibliography
  • edit and delete citations properly in Word - it is critical that you do this properly by using the 'Edit & Manage Citation(s)' button

Endnote and copyright

Users should be aware of and adhere to copyright exceptions and database licence terms and conditions relating to full-text material that is added to an EndNote library.

The Fair Dealing for Research or Study exception contained in the Copyright Act allows you to copy limited amounts of copyright material for the purposes of research or study (https://libraryflin.flinders.edu.au/copyright/copyright-at-flinders). For information about what copyright limits apply, refer to ‘What is Fair Dealing’ at the following webpage: https://libraryflin.flinders.edu.au/copyright/copyright-at-flinders.

If you wish to share your EndNote library, only share the reference list – not the full text material attached to the library. Doing so may breach Australian copyright law or Flinders University licence agreements.

When you leave Flinders University you must delete all full-text licensed content from your EndNote library.

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