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EndNote (Desktop Version): Share

Little EndNote How-To Book

See Section 6, "Collaboration: Sharing EndNote References," of the Little EndNote How-To Book for full details on the various ways you can share EndNote references. The rest of the boxes on this EndNote guide page highlight key points for the different ways one can share references.

How NOT to Share EndNote References

Thomson Reuters advises AGAINST saving EndNote libraries to:

  • "Cloud"-based services such as Dropbox, SharePoint, Google Drive, or OneDrive
  • Flash drives
  • Network drives outside of the building in which the library owner is located. (Applies to EndNote libraries with read-write access. See box below for saving libraries with read-only access to a shared network drive.)

Reason: EndNote libraries are made up of multiple files that must be saved in a certain sequence. Saving libraries to one of these locations changes the order in which the data is saved. The result is that your library will become corrupted. The library may appear fine for days, weeks, or even months but will eventually be corrupted.

Also, emailing someone the .enl file for your library is not recommended. See box in far right column: Emailing an EndNote Library.

Saving to Shared Network Drives

If you wish to save a library to a shared network drive so that others can access it from different computers at the same time, use it to cite references from the library in documents, and format those documents, be aware that:

  • the library must be saved with read-only access
  • only the owner can make changes to the library

To make an EndNote library read-only, go to where your library is saved on your computer. Right-click the .enl file for your library, and click Properties. Next to Attributes, check Read-only.

You will also need to set the .data folder, which also needs to be saved to the shared network drive in the same location as the .enl file, to read-only access.

About Sharing Full EndNote Libraries

With the latest version (X8) of EndNote, you can now share an entire library (including attachments such as PDFs) with up to 100 other EndNote users. This functionality works through EndNote Online and the sync feature of EndNote. Before you use the share feature, you'll want to be aware of the following:

  • All users must have EndNote X7.2 or later (upgrading to EndNote X7.7.1 is recommended)
  • All users must have an EndNote Online account and have set up their desktop library to sync to EndNote Online
  • Since sync only works with one library, you can only share one library with others
  • One can be the RECIPIENT of an unlimited number of shared libraries
  • Those you share a library with have full access to the shared library; they are able to add, change, and delete references and attachments from the library. Thus, the library owner should make frequent backups of her library by going to File > Compressed Library.
  • Creating a Compressed Library back-up is highly recommended prior to the initial share in case anything goes wrong.

How to Share an EndNote Library

Before sharing a library, make sure you have set up your library to sync with an EndNote Online account.

1) In your synced library, go to File > Share.


2) Enter the email address of the person you want to share your library with and click Invite.

3) The person's email address will be listed at the top of this dialog box with a Status of Pending.

4) The person you've invited will receive an email similar to the following. They must click the Accept button to open your shared library.

5) The invitee will then see a screen like the one shown below. They will enter their EndNote Online login or can create an EndNote Online account if they do not already have one. 

6) The invitee will then see a screen like the following that reminds them that they must have EndNote X7.2 installed to view the shared library.

7) This screen also gives instructions for opening the shared library: the invitee must open EndNote and go to File > Open Shared Library.

8) In the Select a Shared Library dialog box, the invitee will highlight your shared library and click Open. They should then see your entire library, including any groups and attachments.

Sharing Individual Groups of References

If you do not want to share your entire library with another user, make sure you've synced your desktop library to EndNote Online. Then, you can share individual groups of references via EndNote Online.

Other reasons you may want to share references via EndNote Online instead of EndNote X7.2:

  • you do not want to share attachments
  • you need to share references with people using older versions of EndNote or who only use EndNote Online
  • you need to assign different access rights per user (i.e. some need read-only, some need read-write accesss)
  • you need to share with more than fourteen users

Emailing an EndNote Library

Emailing someone just the .enl file for your library is not recommended. Every EndNote library has a corresponding .data folder which must also be present for the library to work properly. Think of the .enl file as just the interface file for working with the contents of the .data folder, where all the real data is kept. Sending only the .enl file will cause any attachments, groups, and term lists to be lost when it is opened from the recipient.

If you wish to email an EndNote library to someone, you can instead create an .enlx file by going to File > Compressed Library. When a recipient opens this compressed file, both the .enl and .data folder will be extracted on his/her computer.

Traveling Library

If you have a EndNote-formatted Word document you wish to share with someone who also needs the EndNote library associated with that Word document, you can simply email them the Word document. Assuming the recipient has EndNote installed, they can do the following to create an EndNote library from the references cited in that document:

1) In Word on the EndNote tab, select Export to EndNote > Export Traveling Library

2) It is recommended to create a new EndNote library as the destination for the references before adding them to an existing library.

Note: When a traveling library is created, EndNote assigns new Reference ID numbers to the references that will be different from the library owner's Reference ID numbers.

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