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Endnote (online version)

Manage your references and format reference lists in Word documents.

Citation and referencing - Why the fuss?

A citation/reference organizes the individual elements (author, year, book title etc.) of a citation into a consistent form. When you know what to look for, it's easy to tell a journal article from a book chapter from a conference paper. A good reference also makes sure that you've included all the important information about a source, so that your reader can tell the difference between, for instance, two papers by the same author in the same year, or two books by the same title.

Good referencing is one of the signs of good scholarship!


  • Always double check automated formatting against the rules and examples provided in style manuals and guides.
  • Be especially careful of capitalization, proper names, and dates.
  • Never trust that a database export has perfectly placed all the data you need to get a good reference.
  • Always check each reference in your collection carefully to see that every piece of information is in the correct place.
  • You may need to edit references to make them come out correctly at the end.

APA 6th Edition & Harvard

To create a reference lists in a Word document with in-text citations (i.e., APA6th or Harvard(Qld)):

  • From the EndNote Online toolbar in Word choose a Style (use Drop-down and "Select another style ..." if necessary. The style you choose will persist until you change it).
  • Position the cursor in your document where you want to insert the reference.
  • From the EndNote Online toolbar select “Find Citations” represented by a magnifying glass icon.
  • Search for the reference you want to cite.
  • Select the reference and click “Insert.”
  • If your style requires you to cite a specific page number, select “Edit Citation” from the EndNote Online toolbar. Select the relevant cited reference and add the page number. Click the “OK” button.

Note: EndNote Online can format citations in the new APA 6th edition style. Please see this page for a few exceptions and problems.

Endnote Online & Endnote on USC computers

USC computers have a standard installation with Microsoft Word 2010 and Endnote available preinstalled. This means that you can use the installed Endnote program on these computers and format the references in your Word documents using the Endnote toolbar tab at the top of the screen.

 EndNote Online requires its own Word toolbar, but this is preinstalled on USC machines and is easy to activate by following these steps:

  • Activate the Endnote tab
  • Click on Preferences (a dialog box will open)


  • Highlight "Application" tab
  • Change Endnote to EndnoteWeb in drop-down menu. Click OK.
  • Toggle back to the Endnote toolbar using the same procedure if you need to.

NOTE: The toolbar change will take a few seconds while Word loads up your EndNote Online components.

Formatting in EndNote Online

The major formatting styles used at USC are: APA, Harvard (Qld) and Vancouver. See specific boxes below on this page.

In EndNote Online, there are three methods of formatting citations.

  • Format an entire folder in a particular style. Choose Format, then Bibliography.
  • Use the "Cite While You Write" MS Word plugin to format in text citations and a bibliography within Word. See the EndNote Online Help section for instructions on downloading and using the plugin on your personal computer. If you are using USC computers (e.g. in the Library) the plugin is already available in Word 2007.
  • If you do not have MS Word or cannot download the plugin, it is possible to have EndNote Online format the paper for you. Please see the Help section on formating for instructions. You must prepare your paper carefully according to the instructions for the automatic formatting to work.

To choose a style, in Endnote Online

  • Select "Format" tab
  • Click "Select favourites" link (at right of "Bibliographical styles")
  • Select your style from the very long list, then press "Copy to favourites" button
  • Choose more than one style if you wish for your favourites list

Vancouver (and other number in text styles)

To create a numbered reference list in Word with number in-text  (i.e., Vancouver, JAMA, Nutrition & Dietetics styles):

From the EndNote Online toolbar in Word choose the style you want using the Style window (scroll down until you find it).

  • In Word, position the cursor in your document where you want to insert the reference number.
  • From the Word EndnoteWeb tab, click "Find citations"
  • Type your author surname in the search box and click "Find", then "Insert" at bottom of box.
  • The the intext and reference list entry will automatically format in your Word document.
  • You can insert any number of references in one place.

Important Note: Correct Vancouver style referencing requires journal names to be abbreviated according to the NLM List of Journals (searchable here: Make sure you enter the correct abbreviated form of the journal title in the Journal field of your reference. It is a good idea to also put the full form of the title in the Alternate journal field. Imported references from PubMed will have the abbreviation in the right place, but other databases will usually insert the full journal title. You will have to manually change this to the NLM abbreviation.

Alternatively: Do you want Vancouver, but with superscript in-text reference numbers?
Try the JAMA style or Nutrition & Dietetics (journal) style instead. These are almost identical to Vancouver except for:

  • the superscript numbers in-text
  • journal title is in italics.
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