Skip to main content
Guides & Tutorial, Pao-yue Kong Library, The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong

Reference Management Tools

A Comprehensive Guide for EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero

Related Books

Contact Us

 Research Support

 Phone   2766-6863
 Whatsapp   6423-0820
 Email   lbres@polyu.edu.hk
 In Person   Enquiry Counter, P/F, 
  Pao Yue-kong Library

Before you can insert in-text citations and bibliographies into your research paper, you first have to add references into your EndNote library. This section will guide you on how to add references from different sources commonly used when searching for resources to be used in your research.

Add References from OneSearch

PolyU Library's OneSearch supports direct export of references to EndNote. You can follow the steps below: 

Note: RIS file download function in
OneSearch cannot work with Safari. 
Please use Chrome or Firefox.
  1. Conduct a search.
  2. Click on the title of the selected item.
  3. Click on ENDNOTE(RIS).
  4. Select UTF-8 for Encoding.
  5. Click on DOWNLOAD.
  6. Double-click the .ris file downloaded to import it into your reference library.
    (If this does not work, please perform Steps 7 - 10.)
     
  7. Click on File then Import.
  8. Click on Options to show the Import Options.
  9. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Options.
  10. Select the .ris file downloaded and click on Import.




 

Notes:

  • RIS is a file format that EndNote can read. You can find RIS as an option for citation download in most of the databases.
  • UTF-8 supports multi-language decoding, including references in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. If the reference you wish to download is in English, you may skip Step 4 above (the selection of encoding type).
  • Multi-Filter (Special) is a filter to "translate" the information for references downloaded from different sources. You do not need to select a filter for a particular database because Multi-Filter (Special) works for almost all types. The first time you set this in your EndNote, it will be set as the default Import Option for your future imports.

You can also export multiple references from OneSearch to EndNote with the steps below:

Note: RIS file download function in
OneSearch cannot work with Safari. 
Please use Chrome or Firefox.
  1. Conduct a search.
  2. Click on the desired resource type to see more results.
  3. Add titles to My Favorites by clicking on Pin icon for each record.
  4. Retrieve selected records from My Favorites on the top right panel.
  5. Check the records you want to download.
  6. Click ““Push to” actions”. 
  7. Click on ENDNOTE(RIS).
  8. Select UTF-8 for Encoding.
  9. Click on DOWNLOAD.
  10. Double-click the .ris file downloaded to import it into your reference library. If this does not work, please perform Steps 7 - 10 at Add Single Reference

 

Notes:

  • RIS is a file format that EndNote can read. You can find RIS as an option for citation download in most of the databases.
  • UTF-8 supports multi-language decoding, including references in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. If the reference you wish to download is in English, you may skip Step 4 above (the selection of encoding type).
  • Multi-Filter (Special) is a filter to "translate" the information of references downloaded from different sources. You do not need to select a filter for a particular database because Multi-Filter (Special) works for almost all types. The first time you set this in your EndNote, it will be fixed as the Import Option for your future import.
Loading ...

Add References from Databases

The steps below show how to add references from Web of Science

  1. Visit Web of Science.
  2. Conduct a search.
  3. Select the reference(s) you would like to add.
  4. Choose EndNote desktop under Export.
  5. Click on Export.
  6. Double-click the .ciw file downloaded to import it into your reference library.
    (If this does not work, please perform Steps 7 - 10.)
     
  7. Click on File then Import.
  8. Click on Options to show the Import Options.
  9. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Options.
  10. Select the .ciw file downloaded and click on Import.

The steps below show how to add references from Scopus

  1. Visit Scopus.
  2. Conduct a search.
  3. Select the reference(s) you would like to add.
  4. Click on Export.
  5. Select RIS Format (EndNote, Reference Manager) and then click on Export.
  6. Double-click the .ris file downloaded to import it into your reference library.
    (If this does not work, please perform Steps 7 - 10.)
     
  7. Click on File then Import.
  8. Click on Options to show the Import Options.
  9. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Options.
  10. Select the .ris file downloaded and click on Import.

The steps below show how to add references from PubMed

  1. Visit PubMed.
  2. Conduct a search.
  3. Select the reference(s) you would like to add.
  4. Click on Send to.
  5. Select Citation manager.
  6. Click on Create File to generate a .nbib file. Double-click the file to import it into your reference library.
    (If this does not work, please perform Steps 7 - 10.)
     
  7. Click on File then Import.
  8. Click on Options to show the Import Options.
  9. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Options.
  10. Select the .nbib file downloaded and click on Import.

The steps below show how to add references from EBSCOhost:

  1. Visit EBSCOhost.
  2. Conduct a search.
  3. Click the folder icon to select the reference(s) you would like to add.
  4. Click on Folder.
  5. Select the reference and click on Export on the sidebar.
  6. Select Direct Export in RIS Format and click Save to generate a .ris file. Double-click the file to import it into your reference library.
    (OR perform Steps 7 - 10 to import it into your reference library.)
     
  7. Click on File then Import.
  8. Click on Options to show the Import Options.
  9. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Options.
  10. Select the .ris file downloaded and click on Import.

The steps below show how to add references from Google Scholar:

  1. Visit Google Scholar
  2. Conduct a search.
  3. Click on the cite icon () under the reference you would like to add.
  4. Click on RefMan.
    (Note that clicking on "EndNote" also works, but an .enw file will be downloaded instead.)
  5. Double-click the .ris file downloaded to import it into your reference library.
    (If this does not work, please perform Steps 6 - 9.)
     
  6. Click on File then Import.
  7. Click on Options to show the Import Options.
  8. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Options.
  9. Select the .ris file downloaded and click on Import.

The steps below show how to add references from CNKI:

  1. Visit CNKI.
  2. Conduct a search.
  3. Select the reference(s) you would like to add.
  4. Click on 導出.
  5. Select EndNote.
  6. Then click on 輸出到本地文件.
  7. Click on File then Import.
  8. Click on Choose... to browse the .txt file downloaded.
  9. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Option.
  10. Click on Import.

Loading ...

Add References from PDF

You may create a reference in your EndNote library by importing a PDF file of your reading. Information like authors, publication date and so on can be recognized by EndNote if Digital Object Identifier (DOI) information is available in your PDF file.

Articles published in recent years usually contain DOI information in their PDFs. This information is machine-readable, therefore can be recognized and extracted by EndNote. However, for those very old articles - where the articles were scanned - the PDF file may not contain a machine-readable DOI and thus may not be recognized by EndNote.

To import reference from a PDF, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Click on File.
  2. Select Import.
  3. Click on Options to show the Import Options.
  4. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Options.
  5. Select the PDF file downloaded and click on Import.
  6. PDF is imported with bibliographic information.


After you imported the PDF, if nothing appears in the record except a file name, it means the PDF file does not contain a machine-readable DOI. You may remove this record and consider other ways to add this reference into your library.

Add References from Webpages

EndNote provides a Capture Reference tool for capturing reference information from webpages. You may install the tool to the bookmarks bar of your browser via www.myendnoteweb.com with the following steps:

  1. Login to your EndNote Web account via www.myendnoteweb.com. Register for an account if you do not have one. 
  2. Click on Downloads.
  3. Drag the Capture Reference tool onto the bookmarks bar of your browser.
  4. Use the Capture Reference button on your browser to capture the information on the webpage you are browsing. Select EndNote and click on Save To.
  5. Double-click the .ris file downloaded to import it into your reference library.
    (If this does not work, please perform Steps 6 - 9.)
     
  6. Click on File then Import.
  7. Click on Options to show the Import Options.
  8. Select Multi-Filter (Special) for the Import Options.
  9. Select the .ris file downloaded and click on Import.


If you need to import a substantial amount of webpage references, we recommend you to use Zotero instead. This is because Zotero is more powerful in capturing webpage information. Visit this page for more details. 

Add References Manually

Sometimes you may need to create references manually, like when you are using more unique sources or when it is not possible for you to download a reference into EndNote, e.g. webpages, legal cases, newspapers or even films.

To create references manually, it is helpful to have some knowledge on the requirements of your preferred citation styles for these sources, i.e. which fields you need to fill in for the type of source according to the citation style. You can learn more details on different citation style requirements from the Referencing Guide prepared by ELC of PolyU.

Steps for creating a reference manually:

  1. Click on New Reference icon.
  2. Select Reference Type from the pull down menu, and fill in the necessary fields (e.g. Author, Year, etc.) according to the citation style requirements.
  3. Close the reference window after completing the necessary fields.
  4. Click on Save to confirm the changes.


Tips for entering author names in EndNote references:


1) Personal author:

You can input by either:

  1. First Name then Middle Name and Last Name without comma (e.g. Brian T.M. Chan), or
  2. Last Name, First Name and then Middle Name (e.g. Chan, Brian T.M.)

To avoid confusion in authors' last names and first names, we recommend that you use a consistent way in dealing with their last names. This means, if you prefer using the second method of handling author last names, we recommend that you consistently do that for all authors.

2) Institutional author:

To show the institution name correctly in the author field, you must put a comma after the institution name.

e.g.: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,

To show both the department and the institution name, please put double comma between the department and institution name

e.g.: School of Hotel and Tourism Management,, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,

3) Multiple authors:

Please input one author per line. Press the <Enter> key to go to the next line in the author field. 

e.g.: Murphy, James     <Enter>
        Adams, Douglas

Add References by Extracting References from Word Document

You can extract references from a Word document and import back to EndNote library, provided that the references in the Word document are inserted by EndNote (with field codes). This is helpful especially when you are doing a group project, and you wish to extract the references (inserted by your teammates) from Word document to your EndNote library. The steps are listed below:

  1. Switch to EndNote X9 tab in the Word document in which citations are inserted by EndNote.
  2. Expand the pull-down menu from Tools.
  3. Select Export Traveling Library.
  4. Decide if you wish to import those references into your existing EndNote library or into a new EndNote library.