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Citation Management: 2. Create an Endnote Library

What is an EndNote Library

Citations are stored as references in a file called an EndNote library (.enl). There are different types of references that reflect the types of citation material (e.g. journal, book,...)


EndNote X1 Libraries operate on a unicode platform which allows for advances such as unlimited references in each library and the use of non-English characters. The drawback is that EndNote X1 can only read versions back to EndNote 8. It will not read older pre 8 versions unless you convert the new library into EndNote X1. Please keep this in mind when you upgrade or share a library.

Upgrading/Converting old EndNote Libraries

EndNote 8, 9, X and X1 can automatically convert libraries created with earlier versions of EndNote (versions 5, 6, or 7) to the version 8, 9, X or X1 format. To open or convert an older EndNote library:

  1. From the File menu, select Open and then Open Library.
  2. On the file dialog, locate and highlight the old library, and click Open Library.
    EndNote will warn that the selected library was created with an older version, and will ask for permission to convert it.
  3. Click OK to convert the library. Name the new library and click Save. The conversion makes a copy of the original library in the version X1 format, and leaves the original library intact.

Creating an EndNote Library

  1. From EndNote's File menu, choose New.
  2. Enter a name for your new library. EndNote will add ".enl" extension automatically.
  3. Using the "Save in" list, choose the location where you would like to save the library.
  4. Click Save and the new library appears as an empty EndNote library, showing "0 out of 0 references

Creating references manually

  1. Open EndNote.
  2. From the references menu, choose New Reference (Ctrl+N). This opens an empty reference window.
  3. Choose a reference type from the Reference Type list at the top of the window (e.g. journal, book ...).
  4. Enter bibliographic data into each of the fields (i.e. author, title, ...)

View and manage references

The following are some pointers for getting started:

  • Open an EndNote library. A library window will appear that contains all the references in this library. By default, the library window displays the name of Author, Publication year, and Title of the work. Add other information columns to the main display by using the EndNote Preferences (under Edit).
  • References can be sorted by clicking on the column heading (Author, Year, etc.)
  • The preview window at the bottom of the page shows how a selected reference would be displayed using the currently-selected Output Style. Select your Output Style from the dropdown menu at the top right of the screen. The default Output Style is "annotated."
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