EndNote Desktop, Online and iPad® - Sharing libraries

There are many ways to share an EndNote Library or 'groups'. The below procedure describes different ways to share an EndNote library. Please also see EndNote - Sharing libraries, or the detailed description of 'Classic' network sharing (FAQ item 10).

Each EndNote library consists of two items:

  1. An .enl file (e.g., MyLibrary.enl)
  2. An .Data folder (e.g., MyLibrary.Data)

The .Data folder consists of the (PDF) attachments and the database files and subfolders.

A compressed library consists of one .enlx file (e.g., MyLibrary.enlx, compare with .docx, .xlsx, .pptx). The .enlx file is in fact a zip-file. You can create a compressed library via EndNote menu 'File-Compressed Library'. It is optional whether you would like to include file attachments or not. The .enlx file is primarily for transfer and backup purposes (email, usb stick, backup).

Together with your EndNote Desktop license you are entitled to create an EndNote Online account. This account consists of your email address and a password. With this EndNote Online account you will be able to 'Sync' one of your libraries (your 'master' library) to the EndNote Online environment and to your EndNote for iPad.

Best practice to setup your EndNote Online account

This way your EndNote Desktop license will be correctly 'connected' with your EndNote Online account.

  1. Decide which of your possible multiple libraries will be your 'master library' which you would like to Sync to your EndNote Online or to your EndNote for iPad.
  2. Open the 'master library' in EndNote 21 desktop.
  3. Create a 'compressed library backup via 'File > Compressed library'. This feature will create a 'zip' file of your EndNote library (extension will be .enlx). Put this .enlx file in a backup folder. This is for safety reasons. If needed you will be able to restore your library from this .enlx file, just by opening this file with your EndNote desktop.
  4. To create your EndNote Online account;
    • For Windows;
      Go to 'Edit - Preferences - Sync'.
    • For Mac;
      Go to 'EndNote 21 menu - Preferences - Sync'.
  5. Click 'Enable Sync'.
  6. Click 'Sign up'  and enter your email address and click 'Submit'.
  7. Enter additional information and enter a password.
  8. Do not check 'Automatically Sync' yet untill you are familiar with the Sync feature.

Perform your first sync manually via 'Library > Sync'. Go to https://www.myendnoteweb.com and login with your EndNote Online account credentials to see the Online (synced)  version of your library.
Download and install your EndNote for iPad version from the Apple App store and enter your EndNote Online credentals to Sync your library to your iPad.
If you have ever synced another library in the past, the system will warn you that the library you are trying to Sync is different than the one used before. Please do not proceed before making a decent backup of your current 'master' library.

There are four different options to share your library.

A. Share your 'master' 'Sync' assigned library accross your own devices (EndNote desktop, Online, iPad). 
     Please see above.

B. Share your 'master' and 'Sync' assigned library with 1000 other colleagues.

  1. Your colleagues should create an EndNote Online account first. See above 'EndNote Desktop, Online and iPad®' or via https://www.myendnoteweb.com.
  2. After you have setup your own EndNote Online account and you have assigned your 'master' library for syncing and you have synced once (f.i. via 'Library > Sync'), you may share this specific library via 'File > Share'.
  3. Enter the email address (EndNote Online account) of your colleague and click 'Invite'.
  4. Your colleague will receive an email and will need to confirm and login once with his/her EndNote Online account.
  5. After confirming and loging in, your colleague opens the 'shared' library via 'File > Open Shared Library'. Your colleagues will have 'read-write' access to the library you shared with them.
  6. You may unshare anyone from sharing via the 'File > Share' screen.
  7. On their turn, your colleagues will be able to setup their own 'master' sync library and share their own library with other colleagues.

A detailed description can be found here on our web site.

C. Share a reference 'group' with other EndNote Online accounts.

  1. Go to https://www.myendnoteweb.com
  2. Login.
  3. Go to 'Organize > Manage my groups'.
  4. Check 'Share' right behind the 'Group' you would like to share.
  5. Click 'Manage sharing' and 'Start sharing this group'.
  6. Enter your colleague's EndNote Online account email address.
  7. Choose 'Read only' or 'Read & Write'.
  8. Click 'Apply'.
  9. Your colleagues will get notified and need to confirm by loging in.

Please mind: Attachments of references will not be shared if you use 'Group sharing via EndNote Online'.

Important: Once your colleagues get groups shared they will need to login to the EndNote Online environment and check the following settings:

 'Organize > Other's Groups':

  1. Show
  2. Use for Cite While You Write

D. Classic 'file' sharing via the network via a shared folder. 
     Please see the detailed instructions on our web site FAQ pages.


FAQ category