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Systematic Search for Systematic Review

This guide aims to provide advice and resources for doing a systematic review.

[Optional] Export References from EndNote to Excel

Sometimes you may find it easier to handle teammates' comments in an Excel spreadsheet. EndNote allows you to export references into Excel with predefined fields. A simple way is to use the "Export to Excel" output style following the steps below. 

Steps  Export EndNote references to Excel

However, the exported data may look a bit messy and sometimes the format may not meet your needs. In this case, you can try the hard way - to customize your own output format. Watch the tutorial or follow the steps below. 

Source: MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas

Create a new output style.

  1. Go to Edit > Output Styles > New Style....
    (In Endnote 20, Go to Tools > Output Styles > New Style ...
  2. From the left panel, go to Bibliography and click "Templates". This is where you need to define the output fields (columns) of each reference type included in your library, e.g. Journal Article, Book Section (chapter).
  3. Let's use Journal Article as an example since it's most common. Click "Reference Types" from the top and select "Journal Article".
  4. Click "Insert Field" from the top right corner and select your preferred field from the list. In this example, we start from "Author". Then, insert a "Tab". You can continue to insert other fields one by one. Each followed by a tab.

Now you have set the output fields for Journal Articles. You may select another Reference Type and set the output fields for that particular type. You may take a look at the reference types you have in the library so you know which one needs to be defined.

  1. Set author name format to avoid display errors. Go to Bibliography and click "Author Names". Change Initials to "Full Name".
  2. Save the output style. Go to File > Save As.... Name it as e.g. "Excel style" (or any name that you can recognize).
  3. You can then locate the style from style dropdown menu > Select another style > select "Excel style". (In Endnote 20, you can locate the new output style from Tools > Output Styles > Open Style Manager...)

Edit carriage returns.

One more step to do is to replace all carriage returns with semicolons. This step will merge multiple lines of data (e.g. author names, keywords) into a single line in each field so that all fields can be correctly displayed in Excel.

Be cautious!  After you have replaced the carriage returns, the step CANNOT BE UNDONE. So we strongly suggest to you SAVE A BACKUP of your library before you proceed. 

  1. Select the references you'd like to export, go to Edit > Find and Replace... (In Endnote 20, go to Library > Find and Replace ...)
  2. Select "Any Field". Under Find, click "Insert Special" to insert a Carriage return. Under Replace with, type in "; " (a semicolon and a space). Then click "Change". Now for the selected references, the content in each field has been merged to one line, separated by semicolon. 

Export references to Excel.

  1. Select the references you'd like to export, go to File > Export. Save as a "Text File (.txt)", with output style "Excel style". Then click "Save".
  2. Create a new Excel file. Open this text file by going to File > Open > Choose the file. In the pop-up window, choose "Delimited" > Next > Choose "Tab" as delimiters > Finish. Your references are now in Excel, in your defined output format.