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EndNote for researchers: Generating references from PDFs


When an article in PDF format includes a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) code, now included in many journal articles, EndNote can often extract the DOI and use CrossRef ( to obtain the bibliographic details.

In short, this means EndNote can automatically create references from some PDF files (not all).

Creating a reference from a single PDF file

1. Click FileImportFile   


2. Click Choose to select your PDF file , and ensure the Import Option is PDF (it is at the very top of the list of alternatives)

3. Click Import.

If the process is successful, a complete reference will be added into your library, with the PDF attached.

If not successful, a very brief reference with the PDF filename as the title shall be created, with the PDF attached.

Importing multiple PDFs

If all your PDFs are in a single folder, you can import multiple PDFs.

1. Click FileImportFile   

2. Click Choose to select the folder containing the PDF files , and click Import.

Successfully processed PDFs will result in complete references in your Library, each with the appropriate PDF attached.

Unsuccessfully processed files will result in very brief references with the PDF filename as the title of the reference and the PDF attached.

Check the record

The import process does not always work, and when it does work sometimes the resulting records are not completely correct. As in the case when importing records from databases, after importing PDFs always check the information in the new record is complete and in the correct fields.