EndNote: Entering references manually

Using EndNote to manage your references and format your bibliography

Tips for manual entry

Before you start entering any references into your library, it's important to familiarise yourself with these tips on entering data. Although EndNote can easily format data into any required bibliographic style, it will not be able to rectify mistakes and inconsistencies with the raw data.

  • To ensure the best results, enter data accurately and systematically.
  • EndNote is case sensitive.
  • Capitalisation will appear in the final reference as it is entered.
  • Formatting and punctuation should not be included when you enter references into your library. For example, you do not need to put quotation marks around titles or italicise journal names. Enter only the raw data and leave the formatting to EndNote.
  • Enter special characters by copying and pasting from Word, or using ANSI codes. Look for information on 'Diacritical marks' in EndNote's Help topics. 

Tips for entering dates

  • Enter dates as you would like them to appear in your references. EndNote does not reformat dates.
  • Use the Year field to enter the date of publication. Enter the four numbers of the year of publication, as in 2013. Where no date of publication can be found enter "n.d." for no date.  When appropriate, enter "in press," or "in preparation," or some other notation.
  • For webpages and certain multimedia, enter the date accessed in the Access Date field. The date format varies according to the referencing style used.


  • Examples for the main VU referencing styles are given below:

APA - August 5, 2008     
Oxford - 5 August 2008
IEEE - Aug. 5, 2008   (month is abbreviated)

Record numbers of your EndNote references

EndNote automatically assigns a record number sequentially to each reference as it is added to a library. You'll see this record number, indicated by #, in the title bar of the Reference window.

Record numbers are never reused or reassigned within a library. If you delete a reference, that number is never used again in that library. 

Entering references manually

Generally, you should be able to export most of your references from Library databases, Library catalogues or Google Scholar. However, it's important to know how to add references manually to your EndNote library because there may be situations where a reference isn't available to be exported or you need to edit an existing reference.

To create a reference manually:

  • From the References menu, click New Reference (CTRL-N) or on the toolbar.
  • Choose Reference Type, e.g. Book.
  • Enter the author's name, e.g. Engelberg, Terry then press Enter.
  • Enter subsequent authors on a separate line.
  • Move to subsequent fields by pressing the Tab key.
  • Continue until all the relevant information has been entered in the appropriate fields.
  • Click Close Reference under File, or CTRL-W or click on the x in the right-hand corner of the New Reference window. A pop-up message will ask you to save changes or cancel them (Do you want to save the changes made to the reference?. Your changes will be lost if you don't save them) 
  • Click New Reference (CTRL-N) to begin entering the next reference. Don't forget to select the appropriate Reference Type for each new reference.      

Tips for entering publication details

Publisher: If a book has no identifiable publisher, enter the following text in the Publisher field: n.p.

Page numbers: Enter page numbers in full (220-225). The bibliographic style you choose will format the page numbers as required.

Volume and issue numbers: Enter just the volume and issue number. Do not include the abbreviation "Vol.", enter only the raw data and leave the formatting to EndNote. Sometimes no issue number is given. If so, check if some other indication of order such as Summer, Winter etc and enter this in issue field, otherwise leave it blank.

Edition: Enter edition numbers for books numerically i.e. 2nd. EndNote will automatically add ed.

Tips for entering titles

  • Enter journal names in full, do not abbreviate.
  • Quotation marks should only be used if they appear within the title.
  • Do not add full stops (or other punctuation) at the end of articles or book titles.
  • Use capitalisation as required by the bibliographic style.
  • Do not press the Enter key while typing titles into EndNote; allow long titles to just wrap to the next line.

Tips for entering authors and corporate names

  • Enter one name per line:

Brown, William           
Smith, A.           
Fisher, J.O.            
de Gaulle, Charles
Deakin University,       
Apple Computer Inc.,

  • Where possible, enter the full name.  EndNote will abbreviate first and middle names as required
  • Leave author field blank when no author is listed.
  • Enter all author names for a particular reference. EndNote will truncate the list of authors with "et al." or "and others" as required by the bibliographic style.
  • Enter corporate authors (e.g. the name of an organisation) with a comma after the name. Do not include any comma within the name. If a comma is required with the corporate author e.g. Faculty of Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, put a double comma in the Author field. For example type Faculty of Engineering,, School of Civil Engineering,

Tips for entering notes and abstracts

  • se the Notes field for storing personal reminders, such as the location of a quotation in a book or the quotation itself.
  • You can Modify reference types to create a Quotes field
  • You can assign a personal priority to references by using codes, e.g. using symbols such as stars to assign the level of relevance to a topic.
  • Use the Abstract field for a brief description of the contents of the work.
  • The Notes, Research Notes, and Abstract fields can each hold up to 16 pages of plain text.

Tips for entering keywords

  • Use the Keyword field to store keywords/terms that you want to associate or identify a reference.
  • Separate keywords by semi-colons ; or backslashes \ or returns