Sharing EndNote Libraries

There are many ways to share an EndNote Library or 'groups'. The below procedure describes the 'Classic' network sharing. Please see EndNote Desktop, Online and iPad® - Sharing libraries for alternatives (FAQ item 26).

EndNote is a multi-read application (and not a multi-read-write application). This means that, if we are talking about one specific library (database), this library can only be opened by one person at the same time in the write-mode. The other users can not open this specific library at that same moment. In read mode several users can read from the library at the same time. In read-mode about 99% of the functionality can be used (except for writing/entering references, removing and changing term manager lists etcetera).

Recommendation for shared EndNote libraries

  1. Create an ‘endnote-read’ folder.
  2. Place your EndNote library .enl file and .Data folder in the ‘endnote-read’ folder.
  3. Grant all EndNote users of this team read-only rights to this ‘endnote-read’ folder and sub folders. Also the 'write' team members (see 5 below) will have read-only access to this folder. Everyone will always work with this 'endnote-read' folder for almost all tasks, except when the library needs to be updated/edited (see step 5 and further). Assigning rights occurs trough the operating system (Windows Explorer).
    IMPORTANT: If you open the library in read-only mode from the 'endnote-read' folder, you will always get a warning message that changes will not be saved. This is to avoid that a lot of changes are going to be made and cannot be saved.




  4. Create an ‘endnote-read-backup’ folder.
  5. Create an ‘endnote-write’ folder.
  6. Place your EndNote library .enl file and .Data folder in the ‘endnote-write’ folder. Now both 'endnote-read' and 'endnote-write' folders should have identical content.
  7. Grant Write (Modify or Full) access to this 'endnote-write' only to team members who need Write (Modify or Full)  access (library maintainers/updaters). They will be able to write in this library and make changes. Assigning rights occurs trough the operating system (Windows Explorer).




    The maintainers of the library always work for regular tasks (e.g., Cite While You Write, searching) with the 'endnote-read' library/libraries. Only when they would like to modify or add new references, they open the 'endnote-write' library.

  8. Create an ‘endnote-write-backup’ folder.
  9. Decide in what frequency you would like to refreshen your 'endnote-read' with the 'endnote-write' data.
  10. Write a .cmd or batch script for this task which you may schedule via the task scheduler or any other tool you are familiar with. The command should look like this:
    • Copy content of 'endnote-write' to 'endnote-write-backup'. Now you will have a backup of your 'endnote-write' library/libraries.
    • Move content of 'endnote-read' to 'endnote-read-backup'. Now you have a backup of your 'endnote-read' library/libraries. The 'endnote-read' folder is empty.
    • Copy content of 'endnote-write' to 'endnote-read'. Now your 'endnote-read' is updated and identical to your 'endnote-write'.

  11. Copy the content of the 'endnote-write' library folder to the 'endnote-read' library folder in any desired frequency (e.g. every night or every weekend, whatever is convenient). This can be done by using a simple script or batch command ran from the task scheduler. Since copying/overwriting/moving files will not occur correctly if the library files and folders are in use, it is advisable to run the commands during out of office hours.

Example batch commands

xcopy H:\EndNote\Libraries\endnote-write H:\EndNote\Libraries\endnote-read /Y

robocopy "\\SERVER\EndNoteLibs\endnote-write$" "\SERVER\EndNoteLibs\endnote-read$" /M /E /ZB /B /MIR /V /LOG:"K:\Data\endnote_read_folder_updated_log.txt" /Z /R:10 /W:5

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