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EndNote Online overview

EndNote Online is the online counterpart to EndNote Desktop. Using EndNote Online, you can:

  • create a personal EndNote library of references.
  • insert in-text citations into a Word document.
  • generate a reference list automatically in a preferred citation style.
  • share groups of references with colleagues who also use EndNote.
  • capture references from the web into your EndNote library using the EndNote capture references bookmarklet.
  • access an unlimited number of references and unlimited attachments.

Although you can effectively use EndNote Online on its own (standalone), you can get access to more powerful features if you use it in conjunction with EndNote Desktop by syncing the two libraries.


You can use the Sync function available in EndNote Desktop to synchronize all references between EndNote Desktop and EndNote Online to ensure that your libraries have the same content.

Register for an account and sync libraries

Enter your CityU email address and a password. A registration confirmation will be sent to your email address so you can activate your account.

After creating an account, you can view Getting Started information or click Hide Getting Started Guide to start using EndNote Online.


Sync your EndNote Desktop and Online libraries

After you create an EndNote Online account you can easily sync it to your Desktop library so that you have the convenience of accessing EndNote from anywhere and of having the same library of references. The sync process can only be initiated from the Desktop. References from both libraries will be copied to the other library.

  1. Select the sync button on the tool bar in EndNote Desktop.

  2. Enter your EndNote Online email address and password to log into your EndNote Online account.
  3. If necessary, go to Edit > Preferences (For Mac, Select EndNote X9 > Preferences) and select Sync to correct the EndNote Online email address and password.
  4. The first time you sync you will be asked to create a compressed back-up copy of your Library in case problems occur during the sync process. Select Yes and save the Library in your documents folder.

Note: Customized groups and file attachments can sync to EndNote Online but smart groups, combination groups and group sets cannot. 

After the initial sync, any changes you make to either library will be synchronized in both libraries. For example, if you delete references from your Desktop library they will also be deleted from your online library.

Add references

You can export citations directly from CityU LibraryFind into EndNote Online.

1. Open your EndNote Library.

2. Enter your search terms into CityU LibraryFind.

3. Click on the pin icon next to a relevant search result to save it for exporting. Repeat to save multiple records.

4. When you have finished selecting records, click on the pin icon on the top right of page to view all saved records in My favorites.

5. Tick the saved records  you wish to export into EndNote.

6. Click on the three dots icon to view the Send to options and select ENDNOTE WEB.


Note: The references will go into Unfiled group in your library under My References.


You can direct export from these databases.




If there is no direct export, you can import references.

You can try to import references from databases to EndNote Online by saving the references as a text file then importing them using a filter for the database.

1. Save the references as a text file (this function works best in IE).

2. In EndNote Online, select Collect > Import references.

3. Choose the saved text file.

4. From the Import Options, select the filter for the database. 

Import references from Google Scholar

You can save references from Google Scholar and then import them into EndNote Online using a filter.

1. Select a record in Google Scholar and click on the double quotation marks.

2. Select the RefMan option.

3. Save the file.

4. In EndNote Online, select Collect > Import References

  • Choose the file you have just saved.
  • Under Import Option, select RefMan RIS import filter.
  • Select an existing Group, or a New Group.
  • Click Import.

You can capture references from the web and add them to your library using either the:

  • Capture Reference bookmarklet in EndNote which works in any browser including Google Chrome, or the
  • Browser plugin in EndNote for Internet Explorer or Firefox.

To add the Capture Reference bookmarklet  

  1. In EndNote Online, click on Downloads.
  2. Place the cursor on the Capture Reference button and drag the button to the favorites toolbar.

Note: Pop-ups must be allowed in your browser for the Capture function to work.


To add the EndNote plug-in

  1. Click on Downloads.
  2. Select the appropriate version.


Capturing a reference.

The Capture Reference toolbar button will collect one reference at a time.

  • Go to the web page you wish to add to your EndNote library. 
  • Click on the Capture Reference button on the tool bar.

List of Capture Reference compatible sources

Editing data

When you capture a new reference, often the data is incomplete or needs editing.

Points to look for:

  • Make sure the Reference Type is correct, e.g. Web Page
  • Make sure that the author's name is in correct order, e.g. Last Name, First name
Save to your EndNote Library

Save to (EndNote Online) or EndNote (Desktop). 

Scroll to end of record.

  • If saving to Endnote Online, select a group and click Save. Or, select Save without selecting a group. The record will go into the Unfiled references group under My References.
  • If saving to EndNote Desktop, click Open on the downloaded file

If you are using Macintosh or did not install the EndNote plug-in, you can save references from databases and then import them into EndNote Online using a filter.

Login to EndNote Online, select Collect > Import References:

a.  Choose the file you have just exported.

b.  Under Import Option, select an import filter for the database*.

c.  Select an existing Group, or a New Group.

d.  Click Import.



*Tip: You may select RefMan RIS import filter for the reference from Google Scholar.

Share groups in your library

You can share groups in your Online EndNote library with other EndNote library users.

  1. Click on Organize then Manage My Groups.
  2. Choose the group you wish to share, and select Manage Sharing.

  3. Click on Start sharing this group.
  4. You can now enter the EndNote email addresses of those with whom you want to share your group. If you have a large number of email addresses you can add them to a text file, separated by commas and upload them.
  5. Select option to allow other user(s) to Read only or Read & Write.
  6. Click Apply.



Note:  File attachments, e.g. PDF articles are NOT shared due to copyright restrictions.


Use EndNote Online with Word

EndNote Cite While You Write plug-in

To use EndNote Online with Word you need to download the plug-in so you can insert and edit in-text citations and generate a reference list in a Word document.

  1. Select Downloads.
  2. Select relevant version.



Using Word in EndNote Online

To switch Word from EndNote Desktop to EndNote Online:

  1. Click on the EndNote tab on the tool bar in Word.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Application > EndNote online


Insert a citation

  1. Place the cursor in the Word document where you want to insert a citation.
  2. Choose a citation style by clicking on the down arrow on the Style menu.
  3. Click on Insert Citations and locate the citation you want to insert.
  4. The reference will immediately appear in the bibliography at the end of the document.


To make any changes to inserted citations, use the Edit Citation(s) option on the Word tool bar. If you make the changes to the Word document directly all the changes will be lost when EndNote updates the document.

  1. Highlight the citation in your Word document you wish to edit.

  2. Click Edit Citation(s) on the EndNote tool bar in Word.
  3. Select from options under Edit Library Reference or under Edit Citation to add a page number, prefix, and more.


EndNote will automatically update the citation in the Word document.