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EndNote: Exporting (Downloading) from Databases

Guide to using EndNote, software that helps organise your reference sources. Also allows you to create in text citations and a list of references as you type in Microsoft Word.

FAQ Contents

Click the links below to move to other topics in the FAQs.

 APA 6th Style

• Does EndNote do it all?
• What is APA 6th - AUT X7?
• Wrong style in reference list
• Preview in EndNote looks wrong
• URL for an e-journal article
• APA 6th help

 Attaching Files

• Exporting articles - automatic?
• Attach a PDF
• Other files
• Open a file
• Import a PDF
• DATA folder
• Find Full Text

 Author Names

• Common mistakes
• Corporate author
• Author initials or first names
• Multi-part names
• Omit author from in text citation 
• Corporate author abbreviation

 Chicago/Turabian Style

• What is it?
• Is Chicago/Turabian different from Chicago?
• 'Notes and Bibliography' version
• Get it right in Word
• 'Author Date' version
• Help with footnotes

 EndNote Tools in Word

• EndNote tab/toolbar disappeared
• EndNote Web tab displaying instead of EndNote X6 tab
• EndNote tab/toolbar not installed
• What is CWYW?

 Exporting from Databases

• How to do it
• Errors in exported references
• Does the article come too?
• Mac problem
• Import filters

 Formatting Word Documents

• Wrong style in reference list
• Plain text version
• Thesis chapters
• Computer code showing
• Standalone reference list

 In Text Citations

• Curly brackets
• Delete a citation
• Add page number(s)
• In text citations shifted
• Omit author from in text citation
• Author initials or first names
• Cite a secondary source
• Select Matching Reference error

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How can I transfer references from a database to my EndNote library without much typing?

Transferring references from a database to an EndNote library is called exporting or downloading. The method depends on the database that you have searched. Some are easier than others and a few are not compatible with EndNote at all. It is also possible from Library Search, from the AUT Library Catalogue and from Google Scholar.

For detailed instructions covering most of the databases that are compatible with EndNote, click the Export from Databases tab in this guide. Database instructions are grouped alphabetically.

Note: if your EndNote library is already open when you begin the export process, the references will be sent to that library. Otherwise, the EndNote program opens and then, depending on the setting of your EndNote preferences, either your most recently used library will open or you will be prompted to choose a library to open. The references will then be exported to the open library. To change this preference, click Edit > Preferences > Libraries.

Some of the references that I exported from a database contain errors. Why?

I downloaded some search results from a database into my EndNote library but when I preview the references in the APA 6th style I can see mistakes. 

When the references are downloaded into your EndNote library, you are advised to check each one carefully for accuracy and completeness. Some of the references in the source database may contain inappropriate capitalization of titles and/or sometimes there will be errors or omissions in the information transferred from the database results list. It is good practice to check the preview and, if necessary, edit your incoming references while you still have the database results list open in your Internet browser.

The most frequently occurring error is that journal article titles are downloaded into EndNote with headline style capitalization (each word begins with a capital/upper-case letter) rather than sentence style (only the first word of the title, first word after a colon and any proper nouns begin with a capital letter). You must edit these titles in EndNote to produce correct APA 6th reference list entries - do not assume EndNote will fix this for you! In our Export from Databases guide we provide tips about errors to watch out for with specific databases.

For more information, consult Section 6.2 on pages 7-9 of our Using EndNote X6 guides:

Windows version
Mac version

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When I export a reference from a database to my EndNote library, does the article come too?

No, the article will not be automatically exported from the database to your EndNote library. The export (or download) process sends just the bibliographic data to your EndNote library and this usually includes:
        • author(s)
        • publication date
        • title
        • publication details (e.g. journal title, volume, issue, pagination or publisher and location)
        • doi

Other data that may also be exported:
        • keywords
        • abstract
        • URL (but beware: this URL is often not stable and is unlikely to be useful in  your reference)

If you also want the full text article to be added to your EndNote library, please see the FAQs about Attaching Files.

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I am having trouble exporting from databases on my Mac. What can I do?

On my Mac OS X system, with either Internet Explorer or Safari as the browser, when I try to download references from databases they do not go to my EndNote library. Instead they end up in a file on my desktop.

There are known problems with using these browsers for direct export. We recommend you use the Firefox browser instead.

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What is an import filter and do I need one?

A few databases are not able to export directly to EndNote. Instead, selected references saved as a text file are imported into the EndNote library through an appropriate import filter.

EndNote is supplied with a folder of numerous filters for use with specific databases and, where necessary, you may download some filters from the Filters tab in this guide or from

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