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EndNote 21 for Mac

EndNote is bibliographic management software that allows users to manage citations in personal libraries and create bibliographies in a number of available journal or writing styles. This guide will help you perform basic tasks using EndNote 21 for Mac

Searching Databases Using the EndNote Interface

**Some Mac users have experienced issues with this feature. It may be related to find full-text capabilities in EndNote. If you have trouble, make sure your EndNote software is up to date and try restarting EndNote. If you continue to have issues, please contact us.**

EndNote allows direct connections to several databases using connection files that are included in your EndNote software package. To access NU-restricted resources (for example, Ovid databases and Web of Science) through EndNote, you will need to be on the Northwestern University network or connected via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you are not connected, you can still use the Import method described in the next section.

Databases like PubMed or the National Library of Medicine catalog should be ready to go, and access is not restricted.

Please Note: If you want to search MEDLINE, select PubMed. This option allows you to search the database regardless of your location.

Types of Searches

The EndNote search interface is very basic and does not support advanced searching options such as the ability to explode or focus in MEDLINE. The searching via EndNote method is good for retrieving "known items", i.e. articles you know already exist or all articles by a particular author.

Performing Searches

  • In the left-hand pane, select one of the options under Online Search. If you don't see the option you want listed there, select "more" to see the complete list of potential connection files that came with EndNote. 
    • Note: The figure below shows over 6000 online database connections. If you don't see one you need, you can download more from

‚ÄčA screenshot of EndNote Online Search connection window.

  • If you are using a licensed database, such as Ovid MEDLINE or PsycINFO, and you are on the NU campus, you do not need to enter a User ID or password. If prompted for a password, just click OK to connect, without entering any information
  • Enter your search terms, select field(s) to search (e.g. Author, Title, etc.) and click on the Search Remote Library button.
  • Please Note: 
    • For Journal Searching: Use the full journal name, not an abbreviation.
    • For Author searching: Type the last name first, followed by a comma and the first initial.
    • Add more search fields by using the + signsScreenshot of online search in Endnote

Save references

  • Option 1: Select (highlight) the citations you want to add to your library using your mouse and the COMMAND or SHIFT keys. In the main menu, click Groups - Add References To and then select either a new or existing group.
  • Option 2: Select (highlight) the citations you want to add to your library using your mouse and the COMMAND or SHIFT keys. Click the plus sign icon in the top right corner of the search results pane. They will now be visible in the All References, Recently Added, and Unfiled folders, shown at the top of the left-hand pane.

Video tutorial: Online searching in Endnote 20

The following video demonstrates how to search PubMed using the EndNote interface in Endnote 20 for Windows. The steps are the same in Endnote 21 for iOS. Video does not have sound.