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EndNote for researchers: Duplicate records

Find and compare duplicates

  1. Click ReferencesFind Duplicates
  2. EndNote will present you two references at a time to compare. Any fields which are different in the two records will be highlighted. You can scroll each reference to compare fields. Scrolling of both references will be synchronised for easier comparison. 
  3. screenshot showing two duplicate records to select from, with differing fields highlighted
  4. Decide which to keep and click the Keep This Record button - the other reference will be deleted.
    Note. If you have three or more duplicates for a reference, you will only be presented with two references at a time to compare (e.g. you have duplicates 1, 2, and 3. You are presented with duplicates 1 and 2, you decide to keep 1, you will then be presented with duplicates 1 and 3).
    screenshot of duplicates window with Keep This Record button highlighted for one reference


Delete multiple duplicates

If you have a lot of duplicates, you can delete them all at once. 

  1. Click References ► Find Duplicates
  2. The same pop-up window showing two duplicate references will appear. Instead of selecting which record to keep, click CancelDuplicate record window with Cancel button highlighted
  3. The window will disappear. A temporary folder called Duplicate References will have appeared on the left-hand side. 
  4. On the main screen, all but one record for each reference should be highlighted.                                                          screenshot showing result of Find Duplicates function, with one of each duplicate unselected and all others selected
  5. Click References ► Move References to Trash. The highlighted duplicate references will move to the Trash folder, leaving one copy of each in the temporary Duplicate References folder and the All References folder. ​
  6. Note that records are compared only by primary author, year of publication, and title, so extra details might be in the record that is deleted. In the screenshot above, for example, EndNote will delete two records with PDF documents attached, which is probably not desired. By holding down Ctrl (or Cmmd on a Mac) you can toggle the selection of individual records on and off, to change which records are selected for deletion.

Note. If your trash builds up with deleted references, click References ► Empty Trash. However, if the folder is not too unwieldy, there is no harm in leaving the deleted references in the Trash folder.



Not all fields are compared when selecting records to highlight e.g. you may be deleting the only record with a URL if the URL field is not being compared. EndNote default settings compare the same reference type with matching Author, Year, and Title fields. The settings can be changed – refer to EndNote help under Duplicate References.