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EndNote referencing software: SHARE & Backup

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

SHARE - Share and Backup your Library

Although you will need to set up your EndNote Library to work on one computer, it can be useful to work with it across multiple devices and to share it with other people - such as your supervisor, your colleagues and co-authors. You can share your entire library, or just a group of references.

As your library grows it becomes increasingly valuable, remember to back it up regularly!

Sharing and Backing Up EndNote

It is vitally important to back up your EndNote library.  A corrupted library could ruin your chances of getting an assignment or dissertation finished. It is recommended that multiple copies be made and these copies are kept in different locations (eg on your computer and in cloud storage).

An EndNote library consists of a library file and a folder of Data files. These should all be copied as the Data folder contains figures, groups and other files necessary for the library.

NB: Once downloaded please do not store your EndNote Library in the Cloud. Store your EndNote library onto your local computer drive (i.e. This PC > OSDisk (C:) > Users > Student or Staff number > Local Data > Endnote).

File Type   Function Location



.enl Contains all your EndNote references  

Data folder


.data Contains supporting information such as terms and group structures.  It may also contain your attached files and images in the same folder as the Library file


Backing up your Library

  1. From the File menu, choose Compressed Library (.enlx).... This backs up both the Library file and associated .data folder.
  2. In the following dialog box, select the relevant options. For backing up your library, selecting With File Attachments and All References in Library is recommended.

  1. Click Next, and navigate to the folder location. It is advisable to include the date of the backup in the filename.

This backup library can also be stored in any cloud storage, or on a portable hard drive to be easily moved around. It can then be opened on any computer with EndNote installed, but if you open it up, then save the working library locally.  

Storing, sharing and editing EndNote Libraries that are actively in use across a cloud-based storage option or on a network drive can lead to corruption and performance issues. Hence, EndNote libraries should never be used in cloud-syncing folders such as DropBox or OneDrive, and this includes the Documents and Desktop locations on UWA issued computers, which have regular interaction with the UWA Network, as syncing folders corrupt EndNote libraries over time. 

IT advises that on UWA issued computers, EndNote libraries should always be saved in C Drive > Users >  Local Disc > Staff/Student number > Local Data > EndNote

However, it is ok to store backup version in cloud server. For backup purposes, it is recommended to save your library in three different locations. You may download EndNote to up to 3 computers from the EndNote Guide.

You may also back up your library by using EndNote's File > Save a Copy.  This menu command will copy both parts of your EndNote Library.

EndNote Online is the web component of EndNote desktop and the two sync together. This enables you to share your library, work across multiple devices, and provides backup for your desktop library.

See this Clarivate Knowledge Base area about using EndNote Online

How do I create an EndNote Online account?

To use your library across multiple devices or to share with your colleagues, all users of your Library will need an EndNote Online account.

EndNote library sync screen1. Open the EndNote library you'd like to designate as your EndNote Sync library and click Library > Sync.

2. Click Sign Up to create a new EndNote account or sync with an existing account by inputting your login credentials.

3. Once every 15 minutes, EndNote will check your library to look for changes to send or receive. Click Sync Status to confirm all reference information is successfully syncing between your desktop library and your online account





How do I work with my library across multiple devices?

Sync your library to EndNote Online and you can access your EndNote library from wherever you are. 

Note: it is not recommended to save EndNote libraries on network or cloud storage.

  • Keep your EndNote libraries on your computer's local hard drive. Storing and editing libraries on a network drive can lead to corruption and performance issues.
  • You should never store active EndNote libraries inside cloud-syncing folders such as your Student Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, SugarSync and others. Syncing folders such as these will significantly increase your chances of encountering library corruption.

Clarivate provides additional guidance on their 'EndNote for users' page here:

To sync on a second or third computer, start by creating a fresh EndNote library by choosing File > New. Click Library > Sync to input your EndNote account credentials and perform your initial sync to copy down all existing library information. 

Warning: You can only sync one EndNote Library - if you have more than one EndNote Library syncing may amalgamate your libraries into one.  View this EndNote Web guidelines on syncing for further information. 

EndNote enables you to share your desktop library with up to 100 users at once.

Tip: you can only share one library, but you may have multiple libraries shared with you.

EndNote Library sharing works the same in EndNote X9 and EndNote 20.

In some situations, it might be more appropriate to share a group of references. You can share a group of references with up to 100 users. Find out how.

It may be that you have been working on your EndNote Library on your desktop at home and then want to spend some time at the UWA Library searching for information and adding more references to your library. 

It is possible to work with your library across different devices; the two methods we have explored are: 


  • Using the Compressed Library from the File menu, backup your library to collapse your Endnote .ENL file and .DATA folder into one folder. This backup library can be stored in any cloud storage, or on a portable hard drive to be easily moved around. See the "Backup your Library tab for further details". 
  • This compressed library file can then be opened on any computer with EndNote installed, but if you open it up, then save the working library locally.  

Option 2: 

  • Using EndNote online to sync from your Desk-top EndNote library, so that you can re-sync your library when you are working at University.  Make sure you sync again before you go.  See the "EndNote Online to share & backup" tab for details. 


Note:  Storing and editing EndNote libraries on a network drive can lead to corruption and performance issues over time.  For this reasons, we recommend against using EndNote libraries in cloud-syncing folders such as DropBox or OneDrive.  It is ok to store a compressed backup version in a cloud server. 


Some tips for team sharing of a EndNote library 

Sharing an EndNote Library across a cloud-based storage option like Dropbox or MS OneDrive can lead to corruption issues, especially for a large team-based library.  This is why we would suggest sharing through the syncing to EndNote Online as the preferable option. 


Please be aware of the following caveats with synchronising and sharing an EndNote Library: 
•    All team members will need to create an EndNote Online account, this will enable  the shared library to appear in their personal EndNote Desktop software.
•    Once a library is shared, colleagues with Write access can add, delete and make any changes to the entire library. 
•    Only one EndNote Library can be synchronised to an EndNote Online account, so the person sharing the library would not be able to also synchronise their own personal EndNote Library. Attempting to sync two libraries will merge them. (But each user can receive any number of EndNote libraries shared with them)
•     When working on the desktop EndNote application, the shared EndNote Library owner needs to be careful about which EndNote Library they have open. By default, EndNote opens the last-opened library, so it would be important to check which EndNote Library was open when switching between personal work and the team’s work.
•    Once an EndNote Library has been synchronised, it is difficult to change the file location on the local computer drive where it is saved.
•    Only the original owner of the EndNote Library, who shared it, is able to make Compressed Library backups.


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