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Managing records with Endnote

Logo EndNoteEndNote is a type of reference management software which allows you to import references from the databases that you will search when conducting your systematic review. EndNote is available in both Desktop and Online versions. It is recommended that the Desktop versionis used primarily due to the high volume of references imported from databases during a systematic review.

Importing references from databases searches is usually straightforward, and generally involves the following steps:

  1. Search a database
  2. Mark the records you want to save
  3. Select the database's direct export option for EndNote or RIS
  4. Select the EndNote library you wish to export the records to

Why use EndNote for systematic reviews?

  • Easily manage large numbers of references
  • Import references automatically from databases
  • Remove duplicate references
  • Record details of where reference was obtained (e.g. database, date, search statement) – Groups & Custom Fields
  • Annotate/code references for inclusion, exclusion, background – Custom Fields & Smart Groups
  • Export references for screening in a separate tool such as Abstrackr ( or Covidence (
  • Create citations & reference lists when writing
  • Create reference lists of papers included/excluded
  • Share your EndNote library with up to 14 co-authors working on the review 
  • Conduct a frequency analysis of keywords in your library using Terms List & Subject Bibliography tools to improve the search terms used.

See the following article for methods for using EndNote for systematic reviews:
King, R., Hooper, B. and Wood, W. (2011) 'Using bibliographic software to appraise and code data in educational systematic review research', Medical Teacher, 33(9), 719-23,

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Subjects: Faculty of Medical Sciences