Writing Tools


EndNote is a personal citation management software that allows you to organize and retrieve your literature for research, teaching and publications. Please visit the UW Library EndNote Guide for more information.

Collaborative Writing Projects

Note: These procedures were originally developed by Jarrod Bogucki in fulfillment of the SLIS Library Instruction Field Placement, Fall 2007. "EndNote" refers to the desktop version of EndNote.

I. When some, but not all, collaborators have EndNote

In EndNote

  1. Create an EndNote library for the manuscript.
  2. Add references cited by collaborators to the EndNote library by entering citation information manually or by searching an online database such as PubMed or Web of Science from within EndNote. To search Web of Knowledge from within EndNote, your campus must have a subscription to Web of Science AND you must search from a campus IP address.
    1. Click Online Search Mode, then Web of Science (ISI).
    2. Search for keywords in the title.
    3. Select correct citation from the results window.
    4. Click References, then click Copy References To and choose the appropriate library.

In Word

  1. Insert contributed sections into the manuscript.
  2. Insert in-text citations into the manuscript using EndNote.
  3. Format the document and bibliography with the EndNote tab function Update Citations and Bibliography.
  4. Save a copy of the manuscript.
  5. Remove the EndNote field codes from one copy of the manuscript using the EndNote tab function convert to Plain Text.
  6. Send the version of the manuscript with EndNote field codes removed to collaborators to review.
    Note: The EndNote library does not travel with this version of the manuscript.
  7. Receive revisions from contributors.
  8. Edit the version of the manuscript that contains EndNote field codes.
  9. Repeat steps 3-7 until manuscript is finalized.

II.  When all collaborators have EndNote

Option 1: Multiple EndNote libraries shared among collaborators

  1. Locate the EndNote library file.  NOTE: The file format will vary among EndNote editions.
  2. For EndNote X and later, save the library as a compressed library.
    • In EndNote, click on File, then Send To, then Compressed Library...
    • Save the file as libraryname.enlx.
  3. Transfer the appropriate file or files to the primary author using email, flash drive, or any other means of data storage.
    Note: A paper can be sent either formatted or unformatted.
EndNote Version File(s) Illustration
X and higher compressed file (libraryname.enlx) EndNote compressed file
7, 8, 9 file (libraryname.enl) and associated data folder (libraryname.data) EndNote 7 file and data folder

In EndNote

  1. Open all EndNote libraries associated with the manuscript.
  2. Set your EndNote Formatting Preference to Merge Duplicates in Bibliography. EndNote will automatically omits duplicate references from the bibliography. This is especially useful when citing references from multiple EndNote libraries in one paper. EndNote will not identify the records as duplicates unless you have this option set to merge duplicates.

In Word

  1. Edit the compiled manuscript using multiple EndNote libraries.

Option 2: EndNote Traveling Library

Each formatted citation in a Word document is saved with EndNote field codes that embed reference data in the document. The document contains a “Traveling Library” of references cited. To preserve access to the reference data, collaborators must share formatted versions of their manuscripts. Manuscript sections can be combined and reformatted in different output styles, but the combined document cannot be unformatted. Once a manuscript is unformatted, you must have the corresponding EndNote libraries open in order to reformat references.

The Traveling Library can be used to share references. References can be exported from a document into an existing or new EndNote Library.

  1. Send formatted manuscript to collaborator.

In Word

  1. Open the manuscript in Word
  2. In the EndNote tab, click Export to EndNote.
Exported references are renumbered and do not retain their original reference numbers. These numbers will not match the temporary citation numbers in the manuscript.

The default temporary citation format is:
{Author, Year #Record Number}

Beginning with EndNote X1, "#Record Number" can be replaced with "Pages".
Endnote X1 temporary citation
If all collaborators have EndNote X1, and they agree to use {Author, Year Pages}, the Traveling Library feature can be used to create a project library whose references will match the temporary citation numbers in the manuscript.

Option 3: EndNote Web (https://www.myendnoteweb.com)

For scholarly research and writing, EndNote Web is intended to complement desktop EndNote. It is useful for storing references for eventual download to desktop EndNote as well as storing references from ISI Web of Knowledge searches. EndNote Web folders can be shared with collaborators, but collaborators cannot edit records in a shared folder. All collaborators must have login information to be able to fully edit references. Given limitations of the current version, we do not recommend EndNote Web for professional collaborative writing.


Cite While You Write - add-in that integrates an EndNote submenu of commands into the Tools menu of MS Word.. Provides quick and easy insertions and formatting of citations and bibliographies.

Connection File (also Connect File) - EndNote files used to connect and search online databases while in EndNote.

Delimiters - punctuation that separates one term or field from another.

Field - a section of a record, such as author, title, or publication year. Fields may have multiple entries. Each Endnote record can have a maximum of 38 fields. Each field is limited to 32,000 characters.

Filter - instructs EndNote how to interpret and import data into corresponding EndNote fields. Can be modified and can create new filters.

Information Provider - service that provides access to online databases (e.g. ISI).

Library - your EndNote database of references.

Reference Type - type of information source, such as journal article, patent, book, manuscript, web page.

Style - a file used by EndNote to format references for publication, such as Science, ACS, etc.

Template - used by styles and filters to control how EndNote outputs or imports bibliographic information. Each reference type has its own template.

Traveling Library - When using "Cite While You Write", each formatted citation is saved in your Word document as a "traveling library".