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Guides & Tutorial, Pao-yue Kong Library, The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong

Reference Management Tools

A Comprehensive Guide for EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero

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After you have added some references in your EndNote library, you can start inserting them into your research paper, using the Cite While You Write (CWYW) plug-in for MS Word. Both in-text citations and end of paper bibliographies (or reference lists) will be generated simultaneously. 

Insert In-text Citations and Create Bibliographies

Follow the steps below to insert in-text citations and generate reference list in Word document:

  1. In your Word document, place the cursor on the point where you would like to insert an in-text citation.
  2. Go to your EndNote Library and select one or more references.
  3. Click on the Insert Citation icon.
  4. Both in-text citation and end of paper reference list will be generated automatically.
  5. Change the citation style in Word document if needed.


Edit In-text Citations

You may need to change the format of an in-text citation from e.g. (Author, Year) to Author (Year), or to remove a citation that you have just inserted. Follow the steps below to edit an in-text citation in your Word document:

  1. Click on the in-text citation you would like to edit.
  2. Switch to EndNote X9 tab.
  3. Click on Edit & Manage Citation(s).
  4. Change the citation formatting here if needed,
    e.g., Display as Author (Year) to change format from (Hartle, 2008) to Hartle (2008) in APA 6th style.
  5. Add page information here if needed,
    e.g., input "10-11" gives you (Hartle, 2008, pp. 10-11) in APA 6th style.
  6. Click Remove Citation under Edit Reference if you wish to remove the citation in the Word document.

Format Bibliography

You may also wish to format your reference list in terms of font type, font size or line spacing. Follow the steps below to format the reference list in your Word document: 

  1. Switch to EndNote X9 tab.
  2. Click on the small arrow at the corner of Bibliography block.
  3. Check both boxes if you wish to link in-text citations to references list and underline the linked in-text citations.
  4. Switch to Layout tab to find more options in formatting reference list.
  5. Edit the font, font size, bibliography title and other settings if needed.

The steps above show how you can use the EndNote functions to edit the formatting of the Bibliography - this is different from using the MS Word formatting functions. Since most users are more familiar with MS Word formatting functions, we often recommend you to leave the formatting work to the last when you do not need to make further changes to your references.

Convert EndNote Field Codes into Plain Text

After inserting citations and references by EndNote, your Word document contains many field codes, as shown in the text within the purple box below. The 2 boxes show the linkage between your in-text citation and, reference list (with details of the records in your EndNote library).

You may consider converting your EndNote coded Word document into plain text. Do note that once you do this, the links between your Word document and EndNote will no longer exist. This means if you insert a new reference in the plain-text Word document, EndNote will no longer insert and auto-sort the new reference against existing references. 

Hence, we recommend you to save a copy of your Word document with EndNote codes before the conversion. Also, do the conversion only when you have finalized your paper on references and are ready to format your paper.

You can convert your document to plain text using the following steps:

  1. Save your original document (with field codes) in case further amendment is needed.
  2. Switch to EndNote X9 tab.
  3. Expand the pull-down menu from Convert Citations and Bibliography.
  4. Click on Convert to Plain Text.
  5. Click on OK to create a new document without EndNote field codes.