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.

Format your bibliography

You can use the Configure Bibliography window to format your bibliography or reference list.

  • To open it on a Windows computer, click on the arrow in the bottom right corner of the Bibliography section of the EndNote toolbar in Word.
  • To open it on a Mac, click on the down arrow beside Bibliography in the EndNote toolbar.


Format Bibliography tab options

  • Format document: The name of the document you are working in.
  • With output style: Choose the referencing style you need.
  • Temporary citation delimiters: These are the punctuation marks used for in-text citation place markers when you convert to unformatted citations for editing your document. The default is curly brackets {}. EndNote treats everything inside a pair of curly brackets as a citation linked to a record in your library, so if you are including mathematical expressions in your document, you will need to change the temporary citation delimiter to a character you are not otherwise using.
  • Link in-text citations to references in the bibliography: If you tick this, it creates a hyperlink between the in-text citation and the reference in the bibliography.
  • Underlink linked in-text citations: If you tick this, it underlines the linked citations.


Layout tab options

  • Font: Choose the font to use for the references in your bibliography so they match the text in your document.
  • Size: Choose the font size for references in your bibliography.
  • Bibliography title: Type a heading for the bibliography section.
  • Text format: Define the font style, size and attributes (bold, italic, underline) for the bibliography title so that it matches the other headings in your document.
  • Start with bibliography number: If you are using a numbered style, you can choose the number to start at. The default is 1.
  • First line indent: Set an indent for the first line of a reference if your chosen referencing style requires it. The default is 0cm.
  • Hanging indents: Set an indent for all other lines of a reference if your chosen referencing style requires it. The default it 1.27cm.
  • Line spacing: Set the line spacing for your bibliography to match the settings for the rest of your document as closely as possible. The options are Single, 1.5 lines and Double.
  • Space after: Set the line spacing between references. The options are Single, 1.5 lines and Double.

Configure your bibliography to display references grouped by category

For some assignments you may need to format your bibliography to group references by type. You can do this using the Categorize References function in the EndNote toolbar in Word. and assign references to them. It allows you to create the groups yourself and put the references into them. You can set the categories up before you start writing, part way through or after you’ve finished. You’ll need to double check that all of your references have been added to a category before you convert you document to Plain Text ready for submission.


Set the categories for your bibliography

  1. Open Word
  2. Go to the EndNote toolbar and open the Categorize References menu
  3. Select Configure Categories … This opens the Configure Categories window.
  4. Click the Plus sign beside Category Headings at the top left to add a new category.
  5. Type a name for the category that you need, e.g. Books and e-Books
  6. Continue adding categories until you have the ones you need then click OK to save them.

Note: To delete a category, click the minus sign beside the category name


Add references to a category

If you are grouping your bibliography by source types, click on the Reference Type column heading to sort into types first. That way you work in batches.

  1. Highlight the references you want for your first category.
  2. Drag them across to the category heading. You’ll see that the category name now appears beside them in the Category column of the window.
  3. Continue selecting references and dragging them across to the Heading you want them under until you’ve got them all under a heading.
  4. Click OK. Your references list will now display references grouped by the categories of your choice. References will be sorted in alphabetical order by first author within each group.

Journal title abbreviations for your reference list

EndNote creates Terms lists, thesauri, of author names, keywords and journal titles from what you enter into these fields in your references. These lists can be edited.

Some referencing styles require the abbreviated journal title instead of the full journal title. EndNote’s Journals Term lists helps with this. The full journal title still goes into the Journal Title field of the record for the journal article. When you insert your citation, EndNote finds the abbreviation in the term list and uses it in the reference when the referencing style requires it.

To show abbreviated journal titles in your reference list / bibliography, you will need to replace the existing Journals list with one of the supplied journal abbreviation lists.

  1. Open EndNote.
  2. Open the Tools menu, go to Open Term Lists, and select Journals Term List.
  3. The Term list window will open at the Terms tab. Highlight all of the terms in the list.
  4. Click Delete Term to delete all existing terms from your list
  5. Click on the Lists tab and highlight the Journals list.
  6. Click Import List.
  7. If the Terms lists folder isn’t open in the File window, you will need to find it. Navigate to the EndNote Terms Lists folder on your computer. It will be something like C:\Program files\EndNote\Terms Lists. (The program folder for EndNote will include the version number.)
  8. Select the discipline area list you want to use.
  9. Click Open to import the journal names and abbreviations from the file into the Journals term list

For further information open Help in your EndNote library and read the chapters about term lists.


A printable copy of these instructions: Replace your Journal Term List (PDF)

Create an independent reference list

There are times when it is useful to have a list of references that isn’t linked to your writing. For example, you may want to send a list of references to your supervisor to see if you’re on the right track with your research.

You can create an independent reference list without using Cite While You Write. It is possible to select and copy formatted citations directly from your EndNote library into a blank document. The resulting list will not contain EndNote formatting, so there will be no direct links to your EndNote library.

Using EndNote version X7 or later:

  1. Open your EndNote library.
  2. Select the referencing style you need in the Styles box in the toolbar.
  3. Highlight the references you wish to include.
  4. Open the References menu in the tool bar and select Show Selected References. This hides the references you don’t need for your list.
  5. Use Copy formatted to copy the references formatted in the chosen referencing style:
    • Right click on the highlighted references and select Copy Formatted from the menu, OR
    • Go to Edit in the toolbar and select Copy Formatted from that menu.
  6. Open a new document in Word.
  7. Paste the list into the document. A formatted reference list will appear.
  8. Save a copy of your list to your files.

Using earlier versions of EndNote:

  1. Open your EndNote library.
  2. Select the referencing style you need in the Styles box in the toolbar.
  3. Highlight the references you wish to include.
  4. Click on the Export button.
  5. Save the exported references as a Rich Text Format file.
  6. View the file by opening the word document you have just saved.


A printable copy of these instructions: Create an independent reference list (PDF)

Create a subject bibliography

Subject Bibliographies are lists of selected references grouped under the text entered into one or more fields in the records. Separate lists will appear for unique text in each field, e.g. if you have articles by 10 different primary authors, a Subject Bibliography on the Author field will have 10 headings – 1 for each author.

You can select any of the fields in an EndNote record for this function. However, it is only effective if you systematically record the data you are going to use to create the Subject Bibliography headings.

You can use this function to organise a literature review, systematic literature review or systematic review. Below is one example of how to do this.


Create a Subject Bibliography to organise your systematic review

For this example, I'm using the Label field. See Use Change/Move/Copy Fields to organise batches of references under Organise and search your library for how to batch edit the Label field for use in a subject bibliography.

  1. Open your EndNote library.
  2. Set the referencing style to Annotated. This style appends the abstract to the reference in the bibliography.
  3. Highlight the references you need to include in the subject bibliography.
  4. Right click on the references and choose Show Selected References. This hides the references you don’t need for your list.
  5. Open the Tools menu and choose Subject Bibliography.
  6. Select the Label field and click OK.
  7. A Subject Terms window will open with a list of the terms in that field. Click Select All to use all of them. Click OK
  8. A subject bibliography will appear. References will be listed under the name of the database, search string, limiters and date searched. Abstracts will be included. Save the list.

You now have a full list of the references you found, complete with abstracts, and sorted by individual searches on specific dates. This list will be useful for the data extraction, screening and writing phases of your systematic review. See the Systematic Review guide for more information on these.