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EndNote desktop: self-paced learning

Adding a reference manually

You can automatically import journal article references from most databases. However, you will have to add some reference types manually. For example, book chapters and web pages.

Even with automatic import of references, you will often have to make minor edits to get a completely correct reference. Adding a reference manually helps familiarise you with editing a record.

Therefore, we will start by adding a reference manually. Later, we will add references automatically from QuickSearch and a database.

Add a reference

Use the References menu > New Reference to start a new reference.

Alternatively, use Ctrl+N (Mac: Cmmd+N) or use the New Reference icon. screenshot of New Reference icon

Reference Type

The most important thing to do next is to choose the Reference Type. You will be presented with different fields depending on the reference type.


For example, a journal article will present volume and issue fields. These fields will not appear in most other reference types.

animated example of changing the reference type

Tips for creating references


Add each author on a separate line.

At the end of an author line, use the Enter key on your keyboard to create a new line for adding another author.

Do NOT have an empty line in the Author field. Use Delete (from the end of the previous line) or Backspace (from an empty line) to delete any blank/empty lines.

screenshot of author field showing same examples as in text

Smith, John A. or John A. Smith are both acceptable.

However, if the name has multiple parts containing a space, you must enter the family name first e.g. de Worde, William; or van Gogh, Vincent. Otherwise, the van or de part will be treated as a middle name.

To enter an institutional (corporate) name, finish it with a comma e.g. Federation University Australia,

animated screenshot showing name auto-completeNames entered for the first time will show in red. In later records, if you start typing the same name, it will attempt to auto-complete.


Enter the title according to your referencing style. For example, Some Styles Use Headline Capitalisation (every significant word begins with an upper case letter).

APA style uses sentence capitalisation.

  • The first word in the title is in upper case, as well as acronyms and any proper nouns e.g. Australia, the Latrobe Regional Hospital, the Einstein principle.
  • In addition, the first word in a subtitle is also in upper case: But no other words in the title.


If the item you are referencing has a DOI (digital object identifier), please enter it in the DOI field.

English-language DOIs all start with "10."

You will often find the DOI in a very small font near the top or bottom of the first page of a journal article, or directly under the author(s) name(s). Not all journal articles will have a DOI.

A DOI is common for journal articles, but other online material can also have a DOI (conference papers, ebooks, ebook chapters, open access data).

Finish and close

screenshot showing close button and save dialog box

To finish and save, simply click on the close button for the reference editing window.

You will see a dialog box asking you if you really want to save any changes. Choose Yes

If you have maximised the reference editing window, be careful not to click the close button for closing the entire EndNote program.

Only close the reference window.

screenshot indicating correct close button for reference window and incorrect close button for the whole EndNote application