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A short guide to Endnote and its related issues

Getting Started

Where to get it:

How to start using it:

See the EndNote Basic handout below.

Once you've set up your account, EndNote Basic can be accessed two ways.

1. Via

2. From within the Web of Science database. Click "Products" in the type right corner, select "EndNote" from the dropdown box, and log in with the username/password that you created.

Note: If you are trying to access EndNote via the Web of Science database and it is not loading your records properly, try logging out and using the option instead.

The Basics

EndNote Basic is a web-based version of EndNote (one of the original bibliographic software applications - Click here for more details on the EndNote desktop version). Note: EndNote Basic is the official brand name of the online product when not used with an EndNote desktop (stand-alone) version. EndNote Online refers to this product when synchronized with an EndNote desktop version. The online version was previously known as EndNote Web and you will see that name still in use. For a chart comparing EndNote Basic, EndNote Online and EndNote refer to page 8 on EndNote Online's Quick Reference Guide.

Free v. pay:
EndNote Basic is a "free, limited version of EndNote." One advantage to signing up while on the Boise State University campus (or using the Boise State University IP address mentioned below) is that Boise State University students, faculty and staff have access to additional styles within EndNote Basic. Those who purchase a copy of EndNote desktop version have free access to EndNote Online.

Since it is web-based, EndNote Basic is portable, meaning you can log into it from any computer anywhere in the world and all your research resources will still be just as you left them. Since access to the additional styles is tied to those who are students, faculty and staff at Boise State University, you must register through a Boise State University IP address and then access your account through a Boise State University IP address at least once every 12 months for your account to continue accessing those additional styles. You can accomplish this through our library proxy (see "Where to get it" in the "Getting Started" section above) when you are off campus.

EndNote Basic can store up to 50,000 records per account. It will store copies of PDF files providing up to 2 GB of file attachment storage (but doesn't automatically attach them to your records); it also integrates the Find It button into the record to make getting full-text easier for citations for which you haven't attached a pdf.

Integration with other products:
EndNote Basic integrates with EndNote desktop fairly well. You can transfer resources and libraries from your desktop version to your web account and vice versa. It is also possible to successfully import and export resources and libraries to and from other citation managers like Zotero.

EndNote Basic allows you to set up shared libraries so that you can collaborate easily with other researchers. This combined with its portability makes it a very versatile tool.

Resource Collection:
Some databases offer a direct export to EndNote Basic. These include Web of Science and any of our EBSCO HOST databases, such as Academic Search Premier. Do note that you must have the database and EndNote Basic open in the same browser and be logged into your EndNote Basic account. Most databases and catalogs have an option to export to EndNote products which makes collecting resources easy and fast. You can also enter citations manually directly in EndNote Basic and/or edit ones you have imported as necessary.

Find It button image / Open URL integration:
EndNote Basic does have open URL integration, so any resource you import from a database will have Find It button image in the record to make it easy to retrieve the original record in the native database as well as find full-text for those records for which you haven't attached a pdf.

Style coverage:
EndNote Basic has over 3,300 styles to choose from including all the major styles as well as specialized styles for many popular journals. Styles are not customizable like they are in EndNote desktop, however, you can customize the list of styles you select from so that you don't have to scroll through all 3000+ every time.

Word processor integration:
EndNote Basic only integrates with Microsoft Word through the Cite While You Write (CWYW) plug-in, though it is available for both Windows and Mac. Integration requires you to download a plug-in (for more information see below), though if you are using an Albertsons Library computer, the plug-in is already installed.

Downloads, Add-ons & Plug-ins:
EndNote Basic requires you to download a plug-in for the Cite While You Write integration with Microsoft Word. To download plug-ins, log into your account, click the “Downloads” tab and select the appropriate product. You must have administrator rights on your computer to install plug-ins.

Albertsons Library offers limited support for EndNote Basic as well as some training.
EndNote online/ Basic help page, also accessible when you are logged in by clicking "help" in the top right corner.
EndNote FAQs



Do I have to use my Boise State email address?
No, you can use any email address you like, but remember when sharing folders with others they will need to know your email address to share with you.

Does it work with EndNote Desktop?
Yes, EndNote Basic integrates with EndNote desktop to share resources, though EndNote Basic doesn’t have all the functionality that EndNote does. For a comparison, click here and scroll down to the table.

Will it do my citations for me?
EndNote’s Cite While You Write (CWYW) plug-in will allow you to insert citations and build your bibliography for resources you’ve added to your EndNote Basic library as you write your paper, but you must still know how and where to cite your resources. Once you have inserted citations, however, you can easily change from one style to another.

Can I share my resources with others?
Yes! Under the “Manage my Groups” section under the “Organize” tab you can choose which groups to share and then add people with whom to share by clicking the “Manage Sharing” button. Do note that the person or people you want to share with will need to have an EndNote Basic account as well and you will need to know the email address that they used to create their account in order to add them. You can also choose whether they can only see your resources (“Read Only”), or whether they have the right to see, edit and add resources (“Read & Write”) to your shared folder(s). However, file attachments are not shared.

Will it store my PDF files?
EndNote Basic allows 2 GB for file attachment storage. You will need to manually attach any file that you want to keep with the record. Look for the paperclip icon underneath the reference information in each record.

Can I edit Citation Styles?
Unfortunately, no. At the moment, Endnote Basic does not allow you to edit styles.

Can I use EndNote Web with Open Office?
No, unfortunately, EndNote Basic does not currently have a CWYW plug in for Open Office.


EndNote Basic uses filters to import references from databases. EndNote Basic has a long list of import filters including unique ones for the most popular databases. Sometimes, however, the filters don't work for various reasons. If you've tried a filter that hasn't worked, we recommend trying "Refman RIS" which tends to work for most. Otherwise, here's a list of filters we know work with particular databases:

Database Import Filter
Albertsons Library Catalog EndNote Import
Ebsco Refman RIS
Gale Refman RIS
GeoRef GeoRef (PQ)

Google Scholar

EndNote Import
PubMed (format as MEDLINE)

PubMed (NLM)

Science Direct Refman RIS
SciFinder Scholar

Refman RIS


As you can see, Refman RIS is a popular filter; so, when in doubt, try Refman RIS.

PubMed Exporting / Importing

To import files from PubMed:

  • After you have searched for and checked the boxes next to the items you want to export, click the dropdown arrow next to "Send to" button.
  • Selection "Citation manager" from the dropdown box.
  • Click the "Create file" button.
  • This will download a .nbib file to your computer.
  • Open your EndNote Basic account and import the .nbib file (click the "Collect" tab then "Import References") using the "PubMed (NLM)" filter.

Boise State University only Catalog Importing

We've had many questions about importing from the Boise State University only Catalog. It is possible, but has a few quirks.

  • Once you have found the items you want with your search, you will need to check the box on the left side of the screen for the items you want to export (You can also use the "Select Page" or "Select All" checkboxes at the top/bottom of each page.
  • Next, click the "Export" button at the top/bottom of the page, select "EndNote Citation" and then the "Click to Export" button.
  • You will then get a webpage with text records for the items you selected. You will need to go to "File" and select "Save As." Be sure to save it as a text file (.txt).
  • Then, you will need to navigate to the "Collect" tab in your EndNote Basic account and select "Import References".
  • Choose the file you saved from the catalog. Then select "EndNote Import" for your filter and tell it where in your library to save them.