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Research Guides


Benefits of EndNote Online

EndNote desktop is more thorough than EndNote Online for getting references and citing them in Word and has thousands more citation styles available and allows modifying styles, including seeing style details. However, EndNote Online does allow getting references and citing them in Word.

Some of the benefits of EndNote Online (given availability of internet access) are:

  • allows synchronizing an EndNote desktop library with EndNote Online (This makes the EndNote desktop references available anywhere. It also allows syncing to other EndNote desktop locations, for example, syncing a library at work and one at home.)
  • allows editing, annotating, adding, and copying references or searching for PDFs and viewing PDF's (if PDFs are attached)
  • provides one way to share references and allows sharing only a group of references and not an entire library (if that is needed)
  • it is a requirement for sharing an EndNote desktop library
  • makes citing in Word available wherever there is access to Word and the internet (through it would require installing the Word ribbon if EndNote desktop is not installed on that computer, so the authorization on the computer to install a Word plug-in would be required)
  • provides access to the references anywhere

Getting an Account

To create an account for EndNote Online, go to the library website and search for EndNote as a database. (Start at + click the Databases button + search for EndNote.) Click the link and click "Sign up". The link is in orange text in the middle of the screen beneath the Sign in button. You do not have to use your University email address. When you begin to input the new password, some rules for the password will appear.

There are different levels of access to EndNote Online. There is more explanation of the levels of access (subscription types) in EndNote Online's guide (p. 1 and p. 8). Two key issues are syncing from a new full number version of EndNote (for example X7 is one version; X8 is another, however, X8 and X8.1 do not count as two full number versions) gives 2 years of EndNote Online access with unlimited number of references and file attachment space and 3300+ citation styles. One way to access EndNote Online's guide is to click your account icon at the top right of EndNote Online, then click Help, then click Quick Reference Card at the top right.

EndNote Online Walk-through

EndNote's online help for EndNote Online

When you sign on to EndNote Online, you can toggle between showing or hiding the Getting Started Guide. Once you have references in the EndNote Online account, they will appear in the "All My References" screen (when the Getting Started Guide is not showing). The Getting Started Guide shows some of the main functions of EndNote Online and has links to more information for each function.

The menus at the top of the screen give access to many functions. When not showing the Getting Started Guide, the groups appear in the left column and references appear to the right of the groups column (the main part of the screen). If you click a reference title, an editing screen for that reference appears and you can edit any fields. If data is already in a field, if you click that field, it will display in an editing field. You can attach a PDF to a reference by clicking the paper clip icon in the list of references and then click attach file in the window that opens. Or click the reference and then from the editing window click the paper clip to attach a PDF or other file.

Adding References

You can synchronize your EndNote desktop library to EndNote Online. This is one way to add references to EndNote Online. Once you've created an EndNote Online account, you can configure EndNote desktop to sync the EndNote library. To configure Sync in EndNote desktop use the Edit menu + Preferences. That will open the EndNote Preferences window. Select Sync in the left column. Click the Enable Sync button and you will be prompted for your EndNote Online email address (the one you used to create the EndNote Online account) and your password. EndNote desktop will be configuring to sync the desktop library that you have open in EndNote desktop. (And it is not a very easy process to change what library is being synced.) You can select the Sync Automatically checkbox or not. Then click the OK button. If you do not Sync Automatically (which performs a sync soon after changes are made in the desktop library) then you have to request synchronization using an icon in EndNote desktop or a menu selection.

When EndNote synchronizes it will try to determine (and seems to do so well) what references were added, deleted, edited, or put into groups more recently either in the desktop library or in EndNote Online and then makes those same changes in the other library (so from desktop to Online or from Online to desktop).

How to reset what library EndNote is synchronizing (from EndNote email support)

Please note: EndNote technical support now recommends that you contact them for guidance if needing to change what desktop library is being synchronized to EndNote online. The following instructions from an earlier EndNote source may not work (these instructions did not work when I tried them) and may not be necessary.

If you are syncing an EndNote desktop library with EndNote Online and later want to change what EndNote library is being synced, the process is somewhat involved. Here are the steps. (See "Please note" above)

  1. Ensure that you have a backup of the EndNote desktop library with all the references that you wish to Sync. Also delete all the duplicates from this library. For the steps on how to make a backup of the EndNote library see the knowledgebase article.
  2. Remove the automatic syncing in EndNote Preferences:
    • Open EndNote desktop.
    • From the “Edit” menu choose “Preferences…”.
    • Select “Sync” in the EndNote Preferences window.
    • On the right hand side, you will see “Sync Automatically:”
    • Uncheck the box listed under this setting.
    • Press “Save” and then close the preferences window.
  3. Please make sure you have deleted all the references and all the groups in your EndNote online account, with the exception of Shared Groups and ResearcherID Groups.
  4. Ensure that you empty the Trash both in the EndNote online application and in the EndNote X8 library. Now open your new EndNote library and go to EndNote Sync Preferences as listed in step 2. Please add this text to the end of your E-Mail Address in the Sync Preferences: #!resetLocalSync
  5. For example, if the email address was, change this to!resetLocalSync Click Save and close the Preferences window.
  6. With a copy of the EndNote desktop library you want to sync open, click the EndNote Tools menu + Sync.
  7. EndNote will then display a message stating “Your local sync state has been reset. Please re-enter your E-Mail Address, restart EndNote, and Sync again.” Click OK.
  8. Open EndNote’s Sync Preferences and re-enter the original email address and password.
  9. Please exit and reopen EndNote and the library you’d like to Sync, and then click the Sync button.
  10. EndNote will then start to authenticate and return the prompt: “A Sync library can be linked to only one account. Do not proceed unless you intend to break the link to the original account.” Click OK, and EndNote will purge any knowledge of a previous sync.
  11. You will be prompted to make a backup.  This is up to you, but of course we recommend it.
  12. A complete sync will then begin.

The Library's Quick Search, EBSCO and Web of Science databases will export directly to EndNote Online​.

To input a reference into EndNote Online by typing, from the My References screen, point at the Collect menu, move across and click New Reference. Select the Reference type and then fill out the data fields. At the last of the screen is a link for Groups. You can click Groups and then select what groups the reference should be filed in. Click the Save button.

Citing in Word

EndNote technical support recommends NOT citing in the same Word document with both EndNote Online and EndNote Desktop, however, either source can be used to cite in Word. If you have EndNote Desktop installed on a computer, the functionality for citing in Word from EndNote Online will also be installed. If you do NOT have EndNote Desktop installed on the computer where you want to cite from EndNote Online, you can download the the Cite While You Write plug-in for Word. To download the plug-in, click the Downloads menu in EndNote Online and then click Download Windows with Internet Explorer plug-in (includes Cite While You Write and also a special plug-in for Internet Explorer) or Download Macintosh. Check the Installation Instructions for more information.

Once the ribbon is installed, you should see an EndNote menu in Word that displays the EndNote ribbon. If you have EndNote desktop also installed on the computer, you have to select EndNote Online as the source. To select EndNote Online as the source (when desktop is installed on the computer) go to Word, then click the EndNote menu. In the Ribbon, click Preferences at the right and when the Cite While you Write Preferences window opens, click the Application tab. To use EndNote Online as the source, click the Application list and select EndNote online. The window will then prompt for your EndNote online email address and password. Then click OK.

To add a citation in Word, click into the document where you want to add the citation, and from the EndNote ribbon in Word click the magnifying glass (with quote symbol) at the left in the ribbon, then search for the citation to add, click the reference (or Ctrl + click multiple references) then click the Insert button. EndNote desktop allows displaying all references in your desktop library by searching for * (the asterisk); however, EndNote Online does not list references when searching for *, so you have to search by words in the references including author names.

You can change the citation style at any time (it will change any EndNote citations to the new style). Select the style in the Style selection list in the ribbon. If the style you need is not showing, click Select Another Style and an EndNote Styles window will appear. Search in the list for the style, click it and then click the OK button. To search for the style, you can quickly type the first few letters of the style and EndNote will go to that part of the list.

One way to add a multiple citation is to first add one reference, then click the in text citation (it should highlight automatically on a PC) and then click Edit Citation(s) in the ribbon. The Edit & Manage Citations window should open with that citation highlighted. To add an additional citation, click the down arrow at the right and click Insert Citation, then find the additional citation, select it, and click the Insert button.

To change some settings for the bibliography, in the middle section of the ribbon, it has the label Bibliography. On the PC, there is an icon to the right with a downward diagonal arrow, click that icon. Click the Layout tab. This screen lets you set the font and font size for the bibliography and also for a Bibliography title with font settings for the title. You can set what number a numbered bibliography starts with and choose the indents and line spacing for the bibliography.


From the library view in EndNote Online ("My References"), you can sort by clicking the Author, Year, and Title headings above the references. Clicking again will reverse sort.

You can also sort references using the Sort by list at the top right of the My References screen. It allows sorting by when an item was added to the library or updated.

Searching the EndNote Library

From My References you can search for references in your EndNote Online library using the search box at the top left. You can apply the search to all of your references or references in one group.

Working with PDFs

The library's Find Text @ TAMU button displays in the reference list and on the screen for each reference (at the top right). Clicking that link will search our e-resources to see if we have the full text. If we do not, you can use the Get it for me link to request a copy or try the Google Scholar link. Sometimes a PDF might be available from another source and not be listed in our subscriptions.

To attach a PDF to a reference in EndNote Online, you have to save the PDF to the computer first and then attach it. To attach the PDF, click the paper clip icon with the reference in the reference list (then click Attach files) or click the paper clip icon after clicking on a reference title. Then click the Choose File button and attach the file.

When a reference has an attached file, click the paper clip icon in the reference list or click the reference title and click the file name. In Chrome the PDF downloads first and can then be viewed.

Click the Organize menu in EndNote Online and then click Manage Attachments. This shows a listing of all file attachments as well as the file size. The list can be sorted by any of the columns. You can delete several PDFs at one time by clicking the checkboxes and then clicking the Delete Attachments button.