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Michigan State University

EndNote & EndNote Online

Information about EndNote, the popular reference manager software program. Last updated: 9/7/23.

Creating an EndNote Online Account

Current versions of EndNote allow for easy syncing to an EndNote Online account.

Note: MSU users have access to EndNote Online Premium as long as they are at MSU. These accounts have more features and options than those included in the free EndNote Online Basic accounts. It is important to use the following steps to create an EndNote Online account, instead of registering directly through the EndNote website, to be identified as an MSU-affiliated user.

1) Go to the MSU Libraries Electronic Resources: Databases list.

2) Click on Web of Science, listed under Commonly Used E-Resources.

3) From the Web of Science home page, click on Products in the very top right corner of the page and select EndNote from the list (under Reference Manager). This will take you to the EndNote login page.

4) If you already have an account, enter the email and password you registered with and sign in.

5) If you don't have an account, select Register and follow the registration steps.

After creating an account, EndNote Online can also be accessed at

Syncing EndNote and EndNote Online

Once you have created an EndNote Online account you can easily synchronize it with the EndNote library installed on your computer.

The first time you synchronize EndNote and EndNote Online you will be asked if you want to create a compressed copy of your library as backup. It is highly recommended that you do so, in case problems occur with the synchronization.

To set up synchronization:

1) Click the Sync button in the toolbar (or select Sync from the Tools menu).

2) Enter your EndNote Online email address and password to login to your account. Click OK to begin the synchronization process.

3) The synchronization process may take a while, depending on how large the library is. For the first synchronization EndNote copies all references in each library to the other. This may result in duplicates if references are in both your desktop and online libraries - these can be removed later.

4) Custom groups, including file attachments, will sync to EndNote Online but group sets, smart groups, and combination groups will not. Groups in EndNote Online will sync to your desktop library and appear in the Unfiled group set.

5) It is important that groups in both your desktop and EndNote Online libraries do not have the same name to avoid confusion after the sync is complete. Groups that appear in both locations can be merged. If the group in EndNote Online has sharing options, leave them on. After the sync select the appropriate group in the Unfiled group set and move the references from the desktop group to here. The original group will be empty and should be deleted. The merged group can then be moved into the proper group set.

6) If a conflict occurs, a Sync Conflict group will appear in the desktop Groups panel. This is a result of editing a reference in either the desktop or EndNote Online libraries during the synchronization, and EndNote does not know which one to keep. Select the group to open the Resolve Sync Conflicts dialog and remove the conflicts.

After the initial synchronization, you can set the Sync preferences by going to Edit > Preferences > Sync.

Setting Up Sync on Multiple Computers

If you have EndNote installed on a second computer, EndNote Online can be used to synchronize your references on both of them. To sync with a second computer:

1) After setting up Sync on your first computer, sync your library to make sure that it is up-to-date.

2) On the second computer create a new library. It is important to start with a blank library to avoid duplications.

3) Click the Sync button in the toolbar (or select Sync from the Tools menu).

4) Enter your EndNote Online email address and password to login to your account. Click OK to begin the synchronization process.

Depending on how large your EndNote library is the initial sync may take a long time. All of your groups, group sets, and combined groups will appear on the second computer.

Be aware that using EndNote Online to sync multiple computer is a true synchronization, and any changes made or references deleted will appear on both computers and in your Online library.

Using Cite While You Write and Sync Between Multiple Computers

If your EndNote library is synced on multiple computers it is possible to edit documents with Cite While You Write on both computers, as long as the document remains in the formatted state.

1) On the first computer update the library by clicking the Sync button in the toolbar (or selecting Sync from the Tools menu).

2) Format the document using Update Citations and Bibliography.

3) Save the document and move it to the second computer.

4) Open the EndNote library on the second computer and sync it so the library is up-to-date.

5) Open the document and Update Citations and Bibliography.

6) Work on the document. When finished, Update Citations and Bibliography before saving and moving the document back to the first computer.

Repeat these steps each time you transfer the document between computers.