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EndNote for researchers: Backing up your library


Backing up your library


Create a compressed library

EndNote includes a feature which allows you to put the library (or nominated references) and associated folders into one single file, optionally with file attachments.

  1. Click File ► Compressed Library (.enlx)
  2. Choose if you want to include file attachments (e.g. attached PDFs), and whether you want to compress the entire file or a group of references.
  3. Click Next and choose a location to save. The Library recommends you add a date to the filename to indicate when the compressed library was created e.g. MyLibrary14052016.

When you open a compressed library (File ► Open), EndNote will automatically extract all the files to recreate the original library structure. 

This is useful for backing up a library, sending it via email, or transferring it between computers (including between Windows PCs and Macs). Although EndNote also provides a Save a copy option, the compressed library option is recommended for backing up your work.

Note. You could also use an EndNote Basic account and the synchronisation feature for sharing a group between 2 or more computers. Visit the EndNote for Undergraduates Library guide for more information.

A word about data management

EndNote works most reliably if your store all your records in a single primary library. For security and peace of mind, your primary library (and indeed all your data and documents) should be regularly backed up.

Local backup systems can fail, and you can lose all your work. This includes external hard drives, USB sticks, discs, and other purely local methods. Commercial or free “Cloud” type stores also have security and ethical storage issues for researchers.

The Library strongly recommends you keep your backups on a University network (your personal or departmental network drive, not your computer’s C: drive).

Talk to your EndNote Specialist for further information about other important data management issues, sign up to a Library Data Management class, or review the Research Data Management information at​



There are copyright or licensing issues associated with sharing libraries that contain full-text journal articles as attachments. Please refer to the information in the section Working with full-text PDFs in EndNote.