Transferring a Word Bibliography to EndNote

We’re quite often asked if it’s possible to transfer references to an EndNote library from a bibliography formatted in Word. If the Word document has been formatted using a recent version of EndNote it’s easy to do this using the Traveling Library. Otherwise it’s a little tricky.

EndNote Traveling Library: when you insert citations into your Word document using EndNote, a traveling library is created. This is a subset of your EndNote library which contains only the citations that appear in your paper. You can easily transfer these citations to an EndNote library. Here’s a link to instructions on the web site of the Galter Health Sciences library at Northwestern University.

It’s more tricky if the bibliography is a simple word document not formatted using EndNote. If there are not too many references to transfer, and they’re mainly biomedical journal articles, the easiest way is to search for each article in PubMed, add them to the clipboard, then transfer the contents of the clipboard to EndNote. EndNote X6 makes this easier as there is now a PubMed direct export feature that offers a quick way to get them from PubMed into EndNote.

The HubMed Citation Finder: This is a procedure for converting bibliographies that consist largely of journal articles that are included in the PubMed database. HubMed is an alternative third-party search interface to the PubMed database  providing functions to improve the efficiency of literature search, browsing and retrieval.

Go to the HubMed Citation Finder. Copy the bibliography from your Word document, and paste it into the box.

Read the Hints below the box to make sure that your bibliography is in a format that the citation finder can interpret. You may have to edit the references to get it in a correct format.

Click on the Submit button.

You will see how HubMed splits up your bibliography into individual references. If this has been done correctly, click on the Yes button. If it is not correct, click on No, and go back to the previous screen and read the Hints again. After you click on Yes, HubMed will check the references against the PubMed database and try to locate them. You will see a list of the matched and unmatched citations. Editing the data in the unmatched citations may help HubMed to locate them.  However, there are some records which HubMed has difficulty in interpreting correctly. Click on the Done button to complete the process.

You should now see a series of abstracts extracted from PubMed. Check the All box at the bottom of the screen to select them. Click on the Export Citations button. When prompted for a format, select RIS. When prompted, Open the file and the references should import automatically into EndNote.





About David

David is the Education & Information Consultant, Basic Sciences
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