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EndNote Tutorials: How to Import PDFs into EndNote?

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.

To Import PDFs into EndNote

EndNote allows you to import a PDF or a folder of PDFs into your library with all the bibliographic information extracted automatically, under the condition that the PDFs have DOIs embedded. How to import a PDF? Here are the steps:

  • Open your EndNote library.
  • Under the File menu, choose Import.
  • If it is a single PDF, choose File; if it is a collection of PDFs placed in a folder, then choose Folder.
  • In the Import File or Import Folder popup window, retrieve the PDF file or folder and click OK.
  • Make sure the Import Option is PDF. You can choose Import All (can dedup later).
  • Clicking on the Import button, all the PDFs will be imported into EndNote.

Note: If the PDF file was scanned or it does not have a DOI assigned, then it will not be successfully imported. All it has will be an attachment to an empty record.

To Add a PDF as an Attachment to a Reference

If you have a bibliographic reference in your EndNote Library and you want to attach its fulltext article in PDF, you may follow the steps below to do so:

  • Open your EndNote Library.
  • Click on the reference to which you want to attached the PDF file. (Note: Single click shows the fields of the record on the right; double click opens the full window to view the fields.)
  • Move the cursor to the File Attachements field. 
  • Either right click or go to the References menu on the top.
  • Go to File Attachments --> Attach File...
  • Retrieve the file you want to attach.
  • The fulltext PDF should be displayed in an thumbnail icon. The actual fulltext file is placed in the .data folder.

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