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Reference management software for your research

Import/Export options

Most databases provide a way to export information that can be added to your EndNote collection. Some are easier than others.

  • Below, we list and describe the easy options at the top of this page and the more complex options are toward the bottom.
  • In general, you export information from a database which is then imported into EndNote.
  • In a few cases, you can search from within EndNote and import the information directly. This is fairly easy and is described in the "Online search" box directly below.


Online Search

This option is good for retrieving:

  • Book records from library catalogues
  • Records from the Pubmed database
  • On campus, this also seems to work for Web of Science


EBSCO Direct Export

All EBSCO databases have a built-in export to EndNote.

Ebsco databases available at USC include: CINAHL, SportDiscus and Megafile. MegaFile includes: Academic Search Elite, Business Source Premier, Clinical Pharmacology, Clinical Reference Systems, EconLit, Health Business full-text Elite, Health Source: Consumer Edition, Health Source Nursing/Academic Edition, MAS Ultra: School Edition, MasterFILE Premier, Newspaper Source, Professional Development Collection, Regional Business News and The Serials Directory.

Once you have found an interesting article, either:

  1. EBSCO Export iconclick on the Export button at the top of the record, or
  2. add to your Folder and then export from the Folder page, using the same Export button. By adding them to the Folder, you can export many articles at once.

Be sure to choose the Direct Export to EndNote option on  the Export page.  Your new citations go into the All references folder by default. You should immediately move them into relevant named groups you have set up.

Web of Knowledge databases Direct Export

Web of Knowledge databases include:

  • Web of Science
  • Current Contents Connect
  • Medline (= same as Pubmed)

As WOK and Endnote/Endnote Online are made by the same company (ISI, Thomson Reuters) they integrate and work together very well.

  1. Search the database in the Web of Knowledge portal
  2. Choose references you want by checking boxes
  3. Click “Export to Endnote” button. (Watch out! Do not click the EndnoteWeb button!)
  4. New references will appear in the your Endnote window.


  1. Search the database
  2. Choose references you want by checking boxes
  3. Click “export” button at top or base of page
  4. Choose “RIS” Export format and “Complete” Output
  5. Click Export, then Open (NOT Save!)
  6. References will appear in your Endote Library if it is already open


  1. Search the database. (Have your Endnote library open as well)
  2. Choose references you want by checking boxes
  3. Click “Send to” link at top right of page
  4. Choose the "Citation manager" radio button.
  5. Select "Open"  (not "Save" file")
  6. It may ask you which program you wish to open with. Navigate to, then choose "Endnote"
  7. Endnote will open an import filter list. Scroll down and choose "Pubmed (NLM)"
  8. The references will import and appear.


  • This is a new feature in Pubmed (April 2012). This method gives very good quality references.
  • You can also get Pubmed references via Medline in the Web of Knowledge  suite, in Scopus database, in the SciFinder database and via a direct online search from within Endnote.

Proquest databases

Proquest databases include: Proquest Central, Nursing & Allied Health Source, ABI/Inform, and ERIC via Proquest (and many more)

  1. Search the database
  2. Choose references you want by checking boxes
  3. Click Export link at top of reference list
  4. Click Download in a format compatible with ProCite, EndNote, …etc
  5. In your browser click File…Save as…
  6. Click “Save records”, then Open (NOT Save!)


IMPORTANT NOTE: If you cannot export to EndNote from Proquest please implement the following in Internet Explorer:

1. Tools > Internet Options
2. Privacy tab
3. Pop-up Blocker > Settings
4. Add this string to Exceptions:
5.  Add > Close
6. OK

You may have to close IE and re-open for changes to take effect.

Informit databases

  1. Search the database
  2. Choose references you want by checking boxes
  3. Click “Save” button at top or base of page
  4. Change “Field Label Format” to “Short field labels”
  5. Change “Output Format” to “Endnote”
  6. Click “Save records”, then Open (NOT Save!)


  1. Search the database
  2. Choose references you want by checking boxes
  3. Click “export” button at top or base of page
  4. Leave option as “Export to: reference software” and click “Go”
  5. Click Export, then Open (NOT Save!)

Other databases -Download a file and Import

In some cases there is no export function in the database you are searching, or the export function doesn't work on your computer. In these cases, you can usually download a text file with the citation information in a format readable by EndNote. To do this you will first save and download the results as a text file, then import it into EndNote. It is often convenient to save the file to the Desktop and discard it when the process is finished.

When importing, choose the filter for the database you have used if it appears on the list. If not, try  the RefmanRIS or  RIS options. 

To import:

In Endnote: (have your Library open)

  1. File > Import > Select the file you want. e.g. Results.txt 
  2. From "Import Options "> Other Filters > Select the database (cochrane/ pubmed etc)
  3. Click "Import"

What about Google Scholar!

Google Scholar does have the ability to export references into Endnote (but not directly into Endnote Web). If you are on a computer with Endnote installed, Scholar can export (usually incomplete)  references one at a time.

SUMMARY: Google Scholar will export single journal article references (not other publication types) but  usuallly leaves out some crucial data. It is probably the worst database choice if you want to easily export multiple references into Endnote. 

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