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EndNote Tutorials

EndNote is a citation management tool used by researchers, faculty, and students to store, organize and cite references. This guide is to show how to use EndNote effectively.

What Are Import Filters

If you import citations from a text file you must select the appropriate Import Filter. This filter translates the information in the text file into a format EndNote can understand and parse out into the appropriate fields in an EndNote record. In most cases, the name of the Import Filter matches the name of the database from which you exported citations and from which you created the text file.

EndNote provides hundreds of Import Filters for a variety of databases and automatically stores the 100 most popular filters as individual files in the Filters folder in your EndNote program folder. The complete Import Filter File can be located here:

What are Output Styles?

EndNote's output styles allow you to format your Word document in a variety of bibliographic styles. Currently there are over 5,000 styles to choose from.

The most popular styles are American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), JAMA/American Medical Association (AMA), and Vancouver.

In Cite While You Write (CWYW) - the EndNote feature that allows you to use it to format citations in Microsoft Word - your references will be formatted in whatever style you select.

 A complete list of EndNote Output styles are located here:

Writing Templates

Many predefined Microsoft Word manuscript templates are supplied with EndNote to ease electronic submissions to publishers. EndNote provides them as guides to make your writing process easier, but they are not required in order to use Cite While You Write.

Plus, you can use a manuscript template even when you do not plan to use Cite While You Write on that particular document.

When you use one of these templates to start your paper, many formatting issues are already set up for your target publication, such as proper margins, headings, pagination, line spacing, title page, abstract page and other formatting elements.

A complete list of writing Templates can be found here:

What is a Journal Terms List?

Journals Term List is a file that contains a list of full journal titles and their corresponding abbreviations. EndNote can use this list to identify journals and abbreviations and display either the full title or abbreviation when you insert references into Word. Whether a full title or abbreviation is displayed is dictated by a setting in the given output style.

So for example, the APA 6th output style is set to show the full journal title in formatted citations. However, sometimes references imported to EndNote from a database only include journal abbreviations. Having a journal terms list allows EndNote to recognize certain journal abbreviations and automatically change them to display as full journal titles in Word.

By default, EndNote does not come loaded with any journal terms lists. However, you can easily import lists. Instructions for how to do this are on the rest of this page.


Before you actually import a journal terms list, you should check your EndNote settings for term lists and ensure there are no existing term lists that could confuse EndNote.


1) In EndNote, go to Edit  > Preferences. On the left side, select Term Lists and uncheck the bottom two checkboxes if they are checked. Click Ok.


 2) From the Tools menu, select Open Terms Lists > Journal Term List. (Note: If you do not have any existing terms lists, this option will be grayed out and you can proceed to the Importing Journal Terms Lists box below.)

3) Make sure you are on the Terms tab. Click anywhere in the existing journal terms list and highlight the entire list (Ctrl+A or right-click > Select All). Then click the Delete Term button on the right.


Importing Journals Term List

1) Open EndNote

2) Tools > Define Term Lists > click the Lists tab > select Journals in the box > click Import List button

3) Navigate to your EndNote program folder and open the Terms Lists folder (usually found at:  C://Program Files/Endnote/Term Lists)  

4) Select the discipline that is most relevant to you (e.g., Bioscience or Medical) and click Open
You can repeat these steps to add journal terms lists for additional disciplines.


Download Output Styles & Import Filter Updates

New and updated filters and output styles can be downloaded from the EndNote website for free. Review the lists below for new and updated files. You can download files individually or as a complete set.

How to Get Endnote to Abbreviate Journal Titles; Journal Terms List

Some citation formats use abbreviations for journal name rather than the full journal name.
Endnote uses Journal Term Lists to substitute abbreviated journal titles for full journal titles.
EndNote provides a number of term lists (chemistry, medical, biology, etc.)  to make sure that the journal names in your bibliography are either the full name or abbreviation as your style requires. To set up your terms list, first make a backup of your library.  Then, please follow the steps below. 
Watch the video above for a useful 4 1/2 minute explanation.

Part 1-- Import and Edit the Journal Term List
  1. In EndNote, go to "Tools > Open Term Lists > Journal Terms List".
  2. Highlight the first journal, and press [Ctrl]+A on the keyboard to highlight all the terms (on a Macintosh, this would be [Command]+A). Note: If the Journal Terms List is empty, skip to step 4.
  3. Next, press the "Delete Term" button to the right to empty the list of old terms.
  4. Go to the "Lists" tab at the top, and click on the "Import List" button.
  5. Browse to the Term Lists folder within the EndNote folder, and choose to open the Medical text file (assuming you want to use the Index Medicus abbreviations).  Note:  The Chemical Term List is from CAS.

    If you are on a Windows machine, this folder should default to:
    C:\Program Files\EndNote (EndNote Version Number)\Term Lists

    If you are on a 64-bit Windows machine, this folder should default to:
    C:\Program Files (X86)\EndNote (EndNote Version Number)\Term Lists

    If you are on a Mac, this folder should default to:
    Hard Drive: Applications: EndNote (EndNote Version Number): Terms 
  6. This will import the correct abbreviations into your library's term list. Note: The list you imported may not have all the journals you want.  
          You can update the list to add journal titles from the citations in your library
          You can edit the list to add or modify journal names/abbreviations 

Part 2--Modify The Output Style So The Abbreviated Journal Name Is Used:

  1. Next, to make sure the style is using the correct substitution, go to "Edit > Output Styles > Open Style Manager".
  2. In the list of styles, highlight the style you are using and click the "Edit" button.
  3. Click on "Journal Names" on the left.
  4. Make sure the style is using the Full Name or one of the Abbreviations as needed. 


If after following the steps above you are still having difficulties getting your journals to abbreviate or show the full name, please see the additional suggestions below.  
  • If  the journal name in your reference within the library doesn't match up exactly with the full name or one of the abbreviations in the terms list, the substitution will not take place. Compare the journal name in your reference to the terms in the term manager and make sure you have an exact match. If the journal name is not in the terms list it will show in red. A single space or the inclusion of a period at the end of the name is enough for it to not be considered a match.


  • A corrupted library can also cause EndNote not to be able to make the proper substitutions. In that case it is necessary to run the recover library command from the Tools menu in EndNote. In most cases the term list will automatically work in the new library, however if it does not please try following the steps above in the new, recovered library.


  • If none of the above steps resolve the problem, take a closer look at the journals terms list. Make sure that the full journal names and abbreviated names are in distinct columns as shown in the video below. If the journal list was accidentally removed and then recreated as a standard term list instead of a journal list, the full journal name and abbreviated names for each term will appear on the same line separated by boxes. To correct this, go to the Lists tab and highlight the existing journal list. Click the Delete List button. Then, click Create List. Name the new list Journals and check the Journal List checkbox. On the Lists tab, highlight journals and then click on Link Lists. Look for Journal/Secondary Title column under the EndNote field column. On the right, under the Term List column, select Journals and click on OK


  • Only use 1 term list at a time to avoid the problems associated with duplicate titles.

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