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PolyU Library

Reference Management Tools for Academic Writing

A Comprehensive Guide for EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero

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 Web. You can follow the steps below:

  1. Conduct a search.
  2. Click on the title of the selected item.
  3. Click on ENDNOTEWEB. The record will then be imported into the EndNote Web.
  4. The newly imported reference can be found in My References tab.

Click to see steps in screenshots

Add References from Databases

Most databases also support direct export of references to EndNote Web. Below are examples for Web of Science and Google Scholar. For more examples, please visit our guides for EndNote(Windows) or EndNote(Mac).

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 online under Export.
  5. Click on Export.
  6. EndNote icon will appear on the imported reference(s) in Web of Science. You can refresh your EndNote Web to view the imported reference(s).

Click to see steps in screenshots

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 to download a .ris file.
  5. Go to EndNote Web, click on Collect.
  6. Select Import References.
  7. Click on Choose File to browse the .ris file downloaded.
  8. Select RefMan RIS for the Import Option.
  9. Specify the group you wish to add references to.
  10. Click on Import.

Click to see steps in screenshots

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 with the following steps: 

  1. Login to your EndNote Web account via
  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 and click on Save To.
  5. The reference was imported into your EndNote Web.

Click to see steps in screenshots

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 Collect.
  2. Select New Reference.
  3. Fill in the necessary fields.
  4. Save.

Click to see steps in screenshots

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

If you have installed EndNote Web CWYW plug-in, 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 tab in the Word document in which citations are inserted by EndNote.
  2. Expand the pull-down menu from Tools and select Export Traveling Library.
  3. The references in the Word document will be imported into your EndNote online library

Click to see steps in screenshots

Creative Commons License

Except where otherwise noted, the content of this guide is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.