Transferring references from a Word bibliography into Endnote

EndNote users know that one of the biggest advantages of the software is the ability to automatically format a bibliography using Cite-While-You-Write. But what about bibliographies created manually, without EndNote? Is there any way to transfer those references into EndNote to create a bibliography that would be easier to reformat? MUHC librarians recently looked into the question and came up with a few options:

Bibliographies created using the “Citations & Bibliography” tool in Word 2007 or 2010

If you have been using the “Citations & Bibliography” function in Word 2007 or 2010 to create your lists of references, citations, and bibliographies, simply export your citations into EndNote using the “Export Word Citations” option from the EndNote X7 tab.

Once imported into EndNote, it would be worthwhile to check for reference updates, as the information imported from Word will likely be incomplete. To check for updates in EndNote, highlight and right click on a reference (or on multiple references), and select “find reference updates.”

Bibliographies typed manually into Word

For bibliographies that have been typed into any version of Word, the Citation Finder in HubMed, an alternative interface to PubMed, is an excellent resource.

  • Copy the bibliography and paste it into the citation finder search box. Click on “Submit”.
  • On the next page, make sure your citation list is split correctly, with each reference appearing in a separate box. If corrections need to be made, click “No” and try again. When you are satisfied the list has been split correctly, click “Yes”.
  • HubMed will check each citation and try to locate them in PubMed. Citations that have been successfully located in PubMed will appear with their PubMed Unique Identifiers (PMID).
  • Review any unmatched citations and confirm that the information displayed in the Authors, Journal, Year and Volume fields is correct. Citations that are not indexed in PubMed will not be retrieved and will need to be deleted. Click “Done”.
  • All successfully located PubMed citations (including abstracts) will be displayed on the following page.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page, click “All”, then the “Export Citations” button, and select the RIS format.
  • Save the downloaded RIS file (by default, it will be called hubmed_ris.ris).
  • In EndNote, click on File ­ > Import – > File. Select the RIS file, and choose “Reference Manager (RIS)” under the Import Option drop-down box. Click Import.

Citations that were not found via HubMed will either need to be found in other databases such as CINAHL or Embase and imported into EndNote, or be manually entered into EndNote.

Got more questions about EndNote? Contact your hospital librarian to request a demonstration or register for a training session.

Published August 26, 2014.