EndNote is a particular brand of content management software. It allows people to store bibliographic references in files that are referred to as libraries. Endnote can be used on Windows and Macintosh computers.

Manually create a record for a reference

An EndNote record has fields that are used for creating a reference such as Author, Year, Title, etc. There are also other fields that are for your research notes and other data. The fields you need use to create the reference will depend on the reference type. Consult the relevant referencing manual on the CQUniversity Referencing Guides page to find out what you need to include in the reference.

Journal Article is the default Reference Type. Click on the arrow at the right of the Reference Type box to select a different reference type (e.g. Book, Conference Proceedings, Map, Web Page, etc.).

This example is for a journal article from a database since it is one of the most commonly used reference types. Other reference types use the same process, but different fields.

  1. Open EndNote
  2. Click the New Reference icon to open a new blank record. The default Reference Type is Journal Article. Use this one for a print article. Change to Electronic Article for an article you found in a database so the reference will include the DOI or URL.
  3. Click in the Author field and enter the author’s Surname, comma, then first name e.g. Hamnett, Hilary J
  4. If there is more than one author hit enter after each name to add a new line for the next name. Enter the name in the same format, e.g. Korb, Ann-Sophie
  5. Click in the Year field, or use the tab key to go down to it. Enter the year, e.g. 2017
  6. Go to the Title field. Enter the article name in sentence case, e.g. The Coffee Project revisited: Teaching research skills to forensic chemists.
  7. Tab down to the Journal field and enter the journal title exactly as it appears in the journal, e.g. Journal of Chemical Education. If the referencing style requires the short title, EndNote can do that. See Replace your Journal Terms list for more information.
  8. In the Volume field, enter the volume number, e.g. 94
  9. In the Issue field, enter the issue number, e.g. 4
  10. In the Pages field enter the numbers only, e.g. 445-450
  11. Enter the DOI or URL
    • If your referencing style requires the URL, go to the URL field and paste the article URL or journal home page URL there, e.g. https://pubs-acs-org.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/doi/abs/10.1021%2Facs.jchemed.6b00600
    • If your referencing style requires the DOI, go to that field and add the number, e.g. 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00600
  12. This is the end of the fields for referencing. Enter information in the other fields as desired, e.g. you could use the Label field to record where you searched and what your search terms were, or use the Access Date field to record the date you found the article.
  13. Close the reference by clicking on the X button in the top right-hand corner of the New Reference window.
  14. You will be prompted to save the changes. Click Yes.

Your newly created reference will now appear in the reference panel of your EndNote library. See manually attaching a file to a reference for how to attach the file.


A printable copy of these instructions: Manually create a record for a reference (PDF)

Manually attach files to records in your library

The PDF of a document will generally not be automatically imported with a reference. You need to attach the file yourself.

Only PDF files will display as attachments with the paperclip icon in EndNote, but a number of other formats can also be attached.

  • PDF files, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, spread-sheets, audio files, video files and others like this go into File attachment field.
  • Photos, diagrams and tables go into the Figure attachment field. See Create a Figure record and attach a table or image below for instructions.


Method 1

  1. Save a copy of the file to your computer.
  2. Open your EndNote library
  3. Open the reference you want to attach the file to.
  4. Click on the paperclip icon for the Attach File function.
  5. Navigate to the file you saved in the file selection window.
  6. Highlight that file and click Open. A thumbnail will appear in the File Attachment field, e.g. a PDF icon for a PDF file.


Method 2

  1. Right click on the File Attachment field.
  2. Choose Attach File
  3. Click on Choose File to browse your files.
  4. Highlight the file you need from your files and click Open. A thumbnail will appear in the File Attachment field.


Method 3

  1. Save a copy of the file to your computer.
  2. Open your EndNote library
  3. Open the reference you want to attach the file to
  4. Drag and drop the file into the File Attachment field.


A printable copy of these instructions: Manually attach a file to a reference (PDF)

Create a Figure record and attach a table or image

Use this reference type for figures (diagrams, photographs, images, maps, graphs or charts, cartoons) stored as image files.

  1. Open EndNote
  2. Click on the New Reference icon, or go to the menu bar and click Reference > New Reference
  3. Select Figure for Reference Type
  4. Fill in the details of who created the image and where it was sourced from. (Created by, Year, Title, URL if there is one, details of the book or article you found it in, Author address, Creative Commons license,…) This won’t be displayed in your document, but it is useful for you to know because you will need copyright permission to use other’s figures in anything you want to publish yourself.
  5. Go to the Figure field.
  6. Right click and choose Figure, then Attach Figure…
  7. Click on Choose File to browse for an image in your files.
  8. Select the image file you need from your files and click Open. You will see a thumbnail of the image displayed in the Figure field.
  9. Give your image a meaningful name in the Caption field. It is a good idea to include credits/attribution in the caption. When you insert this image into your document. The caption will be displayed.
  10. Save the reference

NOTE: Only the original caption will be displayed with your figure in the body of your document. Updating the caption in EndNote after inserting the figure will not change it in your document.


A printable copy of these instructions: How to create a Figure record and attach an image file (PDF).

Field entry tips

When you open an EndNote record for a reference, you will find labelled boxes or fields to enter details such as author names into. When you manually create a reference, you copy and paste or enter the data into the fields yourself. When you export records from a database, the fields are automatically populated. All records exported from databases need to be checked to ensure that the data they contain is correct.

Some field entry is for your research notes, or to keep track of where you searched and what your search terms were, of to add keywords to the record. It uses fields that don’t appear in the reference or citation.

Below are some guidelines for field entry.

Author/Editor Fields

  • Be consistent when you enter Author/Editor names
  • Always enter author and editor names one name per line. Hit the Enter key to get a new line.
  • Enter the full name if possible. It helps to distinguish between authors with the same surname. EndNote can abbreviate first and middle names. The preferred way is Family name, First name/Middle name. Options available include:
    • Brown, John Peter
    • Brown, J.P. (initials should be entered with a space or a full stop between them)
    • John Peter Brown (no comma)
    • J.P. Brown
  • Enter multiple word family names as:
    • de Rossi, Charles
  • Enter authors with titles such as ‘Jr’ or ‘III’ e.g. Alfred Smith Jr as:
    • Smith, Alfred, Jr.
  • When entering corporate authors, put a comma after the name:
    • Department of Education,
    • Apple Computer Inc.,
  • If a corporate author name includes a comma in the name itself, use two commas in place of the first comma:
    • University of California,, Irvine
  • Enter all authors/editor names. EndNote will truncate with ‘et al’ or ‘and others’ as required by the bibliographic style. If you do not know all the authors’ names, the last author should be ‘et al’ or ‘and others’ followed by a comma.


  • EndNote styles can change the capitalization of titles but it is best to capitalise titles in the same way you would like it to be appear in your bibliography
  • If you are uncertain use sentence capitalization and upper case for the first letter of proper nouns.
  • Enter titles without a period or any other punctuation at the end.
  • Do not press the Enter key while typing titles into EndNote – allow titles to wrap to the next line
  • Journal titles are the exception. Enter the name of the journal exactly as it appears on the journal. (Journal article titles follow the guidelines above.)


  • Enter page ranges as:
    • 142‐156 or
    • 142‐56
  • The style used to create the bibliography can change the page numbers to be either full or abbreviated page ranges.
  • Do not use commas in the Pages field for numbers in the thousands


  • Enter dates as you would like them to appear in your bibliography
  • EndNote does not reformat dates.


  • The label field can be used for many purposes e.g. database + search string, reprint numbers, or an additional field for categorizing references.


  • Use the keywords field to store keywords that you want to associate with the reference.
  • Be consistent – use semicolons, backslashes or enter each keyword on a separate line

Notes and Abstract

  • The Notes, Research Notes, and Abstract fields can each hold up to 64 KB (about 16 pages of plain text).
  • Use the Notes/Research Notes fields to store personal reminders, quotations, and/or annotations in.


A printable copy of these tips: Tips to manually enter or edit records in to your EndNote library (PDF)