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EndNote: Getting started with EndNote20

Use EndNote to gather and organise references for your assignments and projects

Why should I use EndNote20?

With EndNote20, you can:

  • Store all your references in one place;
  • Annotate PDF attachments;
  • Organise them into custom groups; 
  • Share your groups with others; 
  • Collaborate on shared 'libraries' (not just individual groups);
  • Automatically generate a reference list as you add citations to your text in MS Word.


For alternative options on managing your sources, please see our Reference Management guide. 

Using EndNote Desktop

Use the tabs above and the links below to navigate this guide on using EndNote20:

  • Getting Started with EndNote Desktop - how to download and setup your desktop library.
  • EndNote Click - register for/activate a Click account to quickly save PDFs (if they have a DOI number) and add them directly to your EndNote library. 
  • Adding your references - explore the multiple methods of adding references to your EndNote20 library.
  • Grouping and sharing your references - how to organise your references into groups and share them with others.
  • Managing your references - how to add notes, check for duplicate records and more.
  • Citing with MS Word - use the EndNote tab in MS Word to insert and edit your citations and see your reference list generated automatically.
  • FAQs
  • EndNote and research projects - tips on using EndNote for large projects, e.g. using smart groups, sharing libraries, targeting potential publishers. 
  • EndNote Online - step-by-step tips for using EndNote Online, also known as EndNote Basic or EndNote Web.
  • EndNote and MacOS - alternative guidance for MacOs users. 
  • Help and Support - links to additional guidance and contacts for support.

EndNote20 is one of many products available to help you store and manage your references.  Please see our Reference Management guide for alternative options. 

Does EndNote20 work on any device?

EndNote20 is a desktop app and is installed on a single device.  The 'library' files must be stored on the actual device to ensure full ongoing functionality - cloud-based servers are not suitable for this purpose as updates may not be synchronised in the same way, potentially leading to corrupted files.

You can also create an EndNote Online account and 'Sync' to this regularly to enable access to your EndNote20 library from other devices.

We strongly recommend using the 'File', 'Save a copy' feature on a regular basis and storing this copy on a different device. This copy is formatted in a different way so can be stored on cloud-based servers.

How to use EndNote20 in 7 minutes

EndNote Training (2020) How to use EndNote20 in seven minutes. Available: (Accessed: 10 May 2021).

Accessing EndNote 20 on a university device

Using a student PC on campus?

EndNote desktop is pre-installed on all student PCs on campus.

  • Login to the device as usual, then search/ browse Apps list for EndNote.
  • Select 'File' from the menu bar then select either 'Open' to work with your existing library or 'New' to create a new library.  For a 'New' library, you will be prompted to save a location.  Do not select a cloud option here.
  • At the end of your session, remember to save your changes:
    • Either go to 'File' then select 'Save a copy' and choose any appropriate location (including a cloud-based service).
    • Or sync the changes to your EndNote Online account - see Managing your references for details.


Borrowing a university laptop or using a thin-client device on campus?

We advise using EndNote Online on these devices.  

You can then sync any additions or amendments with your EndNote20 library the next time you are using your EndNote20 device. See Grouping and Sharing your references for details.

Accessing EndNote Desktop on your own device

Installing EndNote on your own device?

  1. From the UWS student app. 
  2. Select 'Library'.
  3. From the menu, select ''Help & support' then 'Library tools'
  4. Copy the product key.
  5. In your browser, go to Clarivate's EndNote Installer page (link below).
  6. Select the relevant installation for EndNote20.
  7. Work through the installation screens, entering the product key and other details, e.g. your name and organisation, when prompted. [We recommend confirming the default folder settings that are suggested.]

Note: this process installs EndNote desktop, the Cite While You Write plugin  (for MS Word) and other related files.

If you encounter any errors with the installation, please email library staff

Saving your library

Remember to save your EndNote20 library on a regular basis:

  • In EndNote20, select 'File' from the menu bar.
  • Select 'Save a copy'.
  • We strongly recommend that you store this copy on a different device, or on a cloud server.

[This copy is a single file so can be stored safely on a cloud server.]

Other save options are also recommended - see Managing your references for details.

Opening EndNote20

Once you have installed EndNote desktop (EN20) on your device, you should see the EndNote programme listed on your device, possibly under 'All Apps'.  

  1. Open Endnote on the device.  
  2. An empty window will appear.
  3. To open a library for the first time, select File (from the main menu).
  4. Select New.  The file manager screen will appear.
  5. Select Save. [Select a location on your device, not the cloud].

Now you're ready to add some references!

Copyright Statement

Creative Commons License
This work in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.