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EndNote referencing software: Connections

Software that helps automate your referencing. In this guide find out about EndNote, download EndNote (UWA staff and students only) and complete our Endnote Learning Path

What are Connection Files?

Connection files tell EndNote how to connect to databases and library catalogues. EndNote Desktop comes with many pre-installed connection files which include connection files from publicly-available library catalogues and databases. You can use the Online Search feature in EndNote to search and download references from a range of library catalogues and databases.

EndNote comes with over 4,000 connection files and University of Western Australia staff and students can use those for publicly available catalogues and databases, for example:
⦁    PubMed,
⦁    The Library of Congress catalogue, and
⦁    Over 2,000 other library catalogues.

You can add additional connection files from the EndNote website.​
To add a connection file to EndNote:

Option 1:
1.    Close EndNote.
2.    Download this file.
3.    Right click (Mac users: control + click) on the link to save the file to disk.
4.    Save the file in the EndNote Connections folder on your computer.
5.    PC - C:\Program files\EndNote X9\Connections
6.    Mac – Applications/EndNote X9/Connections
7.    Staff without admin access to their computer (ie University staff) may need to contact IT to install the file. The file can be saved to My Documents\EndNote\Connections\ without requiring admin access. This file will then be used instead of the file in the Program files directory.

Option 2:
1.    Double-click the connection file to open it in EndNote.
2.    In EndNote, click "File" Menu and choose "Save as".  Remove the word "copy" and click "Save".
3.    Click on "File" Menu and choose "Close Connection".

Connection files allow EndNote to connect to a library's search engine or an online database to search for and import references directly from EndNote’s interface. But connection files will only let you do basic searches which is why librarians recommend you start your search in OneSearch or in a library database.

Connection Files

It is possible to search some external databases and catalogues from within the EndNote Referencing software using in-built connection files provided, however you have more limited search capabilities compared to the functionality available searching within these host platforms. 
When searching from within EndNote you also have less control over the number of results that are then saved into your library. How the results import into the library depends whether you are searching in “integrated & online” modes or “online” only modes. 

Information about searching in these modes can be found here: 

How to search an online database

 Select Tools > Online Search.

 Browse to find the library catalogue you'd like to search.
 Select the catalogue and the search box will appear.

 Select fields and enter search terms.

 Click Search. A summary of results will appear.

 Confirm by clicking OK, or cancel if you need to refine your search.

  References from the results list can be copied to your EndNote library.

EndNote search modes and when to use them

EndNote has three modes that are relevant to the Online Search function.

Online mode: you can conduct a search in a catalogue or database from within the EndNote program. Your search results will be displayed in a temporary holding place. If you then want to save some of the items, you need to copy them to your EndNote library (right click and choose Copy Reference To or use the References menu). This mode is shown in the image below.

Integrated mode: you can also conduct a search in a catalogue or database, but all search results will be saved immediately in your EndNote library. If you want the chance to review the references before saving them, we do not recommend this option. 

Local mode: search your EndNote library locally. You can also do this in the integrated mode.

To toggle between the modes, click on the icons near the top left hand corner of the EndNote library window. The books image is for the local library, the globe is for online searching, and the books + globe is the integrated mode.

Reminder Note: Edited books do not import correctly from library catalogues, including UWA OneSearch. You will need to check for edited books (these may show as Book, Generic or Electronic Book Reference Types). With the Reference Panel open, scan the Notes fields of each new record for editor information. For each reference with a note indicating that the “authors” are actually editors, change the Reference Type to Edited Book.

More information about adding other connection files can be found here EndNote website

While it is possible to search open access and subscribed databases using the EndNote connection files librarians generally recommend against it for two main reasons:

  • Limited search functionality and indiscriminate search criteria in comparison to searching directly within the host database (eg. Key word only, limited subject searching and use of limits etc) 
  • Large import of records based on this poor quality search with limited and/or inefficient capacity to manage these – eg. they are pulled into your file using “integrated & online” modes or “online only” mode.

 Therefore it is best to search within the databases themselves, and import selected results into your EndNote library.