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EndNote - Managing your Sources

EndNote - Basic Guide

Endnote Basic is a free web-based system for organizing articles and creating bibliographies. This Web-based tool provides users with 2GB of online storage for their references and the ability to instantly format bibliographies in their word processor.  These instructions are for EndNote basic. For those that have purchased EndNote - please see this EndNote page created by the University of Oregon library. It is possible to sync citations between EndNote and EndNote basic.

Creating an account

To use EndNote Basic you must sign up for an account.

Web of Science

If you have a Web of Science account, that account will also work for EndNote Basic.

EndNote sign in page

Once you have established an account you will use the page to access the sources that you saved. Make sure to bookmark this page in your browser for easy access.


Adding citations to Endnote Basic

Importing citations from databases

You can save citations from many of the TMU Library's databases and import them into your EndNote basic library using a simple two-step process.

  • While in your database, you need to export the selected citations or save the information from the database in either "EndNote" or "RIS" format. Remember what database you search.
  • Once you have saved the data open EndNote Web and click on the "Collect" tab.

EndNote - Collect References

To import your file:

  • Click the Import link located under the Collect tab.
  • Click the Browse button in Step 1. This will open a window for you to find and select the import file.
  • Select the database you exported the records from using the Import Option drop-down menu.
    • If the database you used isn't in the list, then select "RefMan RIS" from the menu.
  • Optionally, select the group (or folder) into which you want to save the references.
  • Click the Import button.

The references imported from the selected file are now saved to the folder you selected, or into your "Unfiled" folder.

Capture Add-On

Endnote provides a browser add-on that allows you to capture information about the webpage you're looking at. This works best when you're reading an abstract of a journal article or a news website.

The Add-on is available in EndNote basic under the Download Tab.

EndNote - Capture Add-on

The "Capture" button lets you add citation information from the page that you're on to your EndNote Basic account. The "Capture" button describes the page you're on, not any citations that are on the page, so it doesn't work with a list of articles in a database.


EndNote Capture Add-on in action

Make sure that the information in the "Capture" window is correct and complete, so that EndNote will e able to format your bibliography correctly later.

Manually add citations

  • On the Collect tab, click on New Reference
  • Choose the folder where the reference will be saved from the Choose Folder drop-down list box.
  • Change the Reference Type by selecting the appropriate type from the Reference Type drop-down list box. The screen will redraw when the reference type changes displaying appropriate fields for that reference type
  • Enter the bibliographic data in each of the fields in the reference. Reference Fields required for a properly formatted citation and bibliography are indicated with asterisks.
  • Click the Save button in the upper left corner of the new reference box."*

Creating Bibliographies with EndNote Basic

Creating bibliographies in MS Word

EndNote Basic can automatically create bibliographies and format citations in documents, assignments, manuscripts, and more in a variety of citation styles.

Before you can do this, you have to install EndNote Basic's plug-in for Microsoft Word. This plug-in enables EndNote Basic to create and automatically update your bibliography and citations in your Word document. Install the "Cite while you write" plug-in from the  Download tab within EndNote Basic:

End Note - Cite while you write

Once you've installed the Word plug-in, it will appear as a new toolbar:

Citation tool bar in Word


  • The first time you use the Cite While You Write toolbar, click on the "Tools" menu in the toolbar and select "Cite While You Write Preferences...". In the preferences window that appears, click on the Applications tab.
  • Click on the "EndNote online" option, then fill in your account information and click "OK". You are now ready to start adding citations to your Word document.
  • Open your Word document and begin writing, when you need to insert a citation into your text, click the Insert Citation(s) button on the Cite While You Write toolbar. The EndNote Find & Insert My References Window will appear

EndNote tab in Word


  • Type a search into the "Find Citation" search box, and the matching articles in your EndNote Basic account will appear.
  • Select one or more of the articles, and click on the "Insert" button (if you are using an "author-date" style and want to change the display, then click on the down-arrow to select how you want to insert your citation).
  • The in-text citation will appear, and the article will be added to your reference list at the end of the document. If this is the first citation you've inserted, then the reference list will be created.

To change the way that your bibliography is formatted, click on the Configure Bibliography button in the toolbar. This window lets you change the citation style on the Format Bibliography tab; adjust the font and title of the bibliography on the Layout tab; and enable or disable immediate formatting of your citations and bibliography on the Instant Formatting tab.

Create a bibliography within EndNote Basic

EndNote Basic lets you create a quick bibliography using the Bibliography section of the Format tab. You can create a bibliography from all the references in one of your groups, or if you just need a few references that you want to post to a blog post or email to somebody, add them to the "Quick List" on your My References tab.

  • In EndNote basic select Bibliography (under the Format tab).
  • Select  the group that you want to use as the source for your bibliography
  • Select a bibliographic output style from the pull-down menu (i.e., APA, MLA, etc.).
  • Select a file format: HTML, plain text, or rich text format.
  • Click on the Create button.
  • Save, email, or print the bibliography.

Quality Assurance

EndNote Basic facilitates the management and formatting of citations. However, it is vital that you check the citation data at the import stage and check the formatting of your in-text citations and the generated bibliography to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the data captured or the references being produced.

More support for EndNote Basic

Check out the EndNote Basic YouTube Channel  for more tutorials.


Creative Commons License and Attribution


Adapted with permission from Western Libraries. 

This guide has been created by the Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archives and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license unless otherwise marked.