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EndNote 101: Build a Library

Everything you need to get started with EndNote.

Instructions

Building a Library

This section discusses the process of creating an EndNote library and populating it with references.


Creating an EndNote Library

Creating an EndNote library is similar to creating a file or document. Think of a name for your library and where you’d like to store it.

To create an EndNote library:

  1. Choose New from the EndNote File menu.  
  2. Enter a name for your new library.
  3. Choose a location for the library using the “Save in” list.
  4. Click Save.

EndNote library filenames are automatically given the extension .enl (for EndNote Library). Each library has an .enl file and a .Data folder associated with it. Figures, groups, and other files are stored in the .Data folder, which is associated with each library and stored in the same folder as the main library file. It is important to always move, copy, rename, and delete both the main .enl file and the corresponding .Data folder for each EndNote library.

The filename you enter appears in the top left hand corner of the window. At the bottom left corner of the window, the words "Showing 0 out of 0 references" indicate that your new EndNote library is empty.

One Library or Several?

There is no limit to the number of EndNote libraries you can create, but it is usually best to create only one library for each general topic or field.

It may be a good idea to keep separate libraries for very different fields of investigation. For example, if you are an astronomer but your hobby is entomology, you might choose to keep references for these two research interests in separate libraries.

Custom Groups

Creating Custom Groups

EndNote displays all of your references in All References, but it also allows you to create up to 500 groups of saved references. These are called Smart groups and Custom groups. A Custom group is built by specifically adding individual references to the group, whereas a Smart group is compiled automatically and is based upon a search strategy. Custom groups are a helpful way for everyone to organize their references into different categories or groups.

  1. To create a custom group for a category that you would like to add references to, select Groups > Create Group. Or, you can right-click under Custom Groups in the Groups pane and then choose Create Group.
  2. Type in a name for the group and press Enter or click anywhere in the pane to save the new group name. The reference list will show up blank, since no references have been added yet to this group.
  3. If you ever want to delete a group, right click on the group name and then select Delete Group. Only the group name will be deleted; the references are still included in All References.

    EndNote displays all of your references in All References, but it also allows you to create up to 500 groups of saved references. These are called Smart groups and Custom groups. A Custom group is built by specifically adding individual references to the group, whereas a Smart group is compiled automatically and is based upon a search strategy. Custom groups are a helpful way for everyone to organize their references into different categories or groups.

    1. To create a custom group for a category that you would like to add references to, select Groups > Create Group. Or, you can right-click under Custom Groups in the Groups pane and then choose Create Group.
    2. Type in a name for the group and press Enter or click anywhere in the pane to save the new group name. The reference list will show up blank, since no references have been added yet to this group.
    3. If you ever want to delete a group, right click on the group name and then select Delete Group. Only the group name will be deleted; the references are still included in All References.
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