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EndNote: 3. EndNote & collaboration

A guide to using EndNote 20

How to collaborate with EndNote desktop

Exporting a Travelling Library

If you are using Word 2007 or later, your Word document contains a Travelling Library comprising all references cited using EndNote. This enables you to collaborate with your colleagues on the same document without having to have the same EndNote library - the references can be exported from the document itself:

1.The Word document should be sent as an email attachment.

2. Open the document once received.

3. On the EndNote tab go to Tools > Export to EndNote > Export Travelling Library.

4. Select your EndNote library and click OK.


  • Do not unformat the document you receive if you don't have the original references in your library.
  • The data saved with each citation includes all fields except Notes, Abstract & Figure.
  • The Travelling Library only works if all collaborators are using Word 2007 or later.

Shared EndNote library

If you are collaborating at the same institution it is possible to set-up an EndNote library for shared network access. EndNote will not allow more than one user at a time to edit the library. However, multiple users can access the same library simultaneously as long as the library is set to Read Only or Locked status. This allows users to perform searches, copy information to their documents and format their papers:

  • Assign one person responsibility for maintaining & updating the library at a different location.
  • This person will have full access to the library & grant all others read-only access.
  • They will periodically post the updated version on the network for all other users.

To establish a shared network access, use the network's system of permissions to control the type of access allowed for users.

To change to Read Only:

  • Locate the .ENL file and .DATA folder in Windows Explorer.
  • Right click on .ENL file > Properties > Read-Only.

This approach minimises problems with EndNote & Word. If someone other than the library editor wishes to contribute references to the library, these can be sent as a small EndNote library (emailed as a compressed library) & then merged with the original library.

To merge EndNote libraries:

  • Open the EndNote library you want the references imported into.
  • Go to File > Import > File.
  • A dialogue box will open
  • Click on Choose... and select the EndNote library you want to import.
  • For Import Option ensure EndNote Library is selected.
  • At Duplicates select Discard Duplicates.
  • Click on Import.

Note: Make a back-up copy of the main library before merging libraries.

What is EndNote Online?

EndNote is the desktop version. EndNote Online (formerly EndNote Web) is the online version.

EndNote Online compliments your EndNote desktop library by enabling you to:

  • Work collaboratively and share your EndNote Library.
  • Access your EndNote library from multiple locations without making multiple copies of your library.

Find out more about EndNote Online!

Note: You must create a new online account for EndNote X9 even if you have an existing web account with a previous version of EndNote.