Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

EndNote 8: I got my EndNote Library...what do I do next?

A Guide for Toronto Public Health Staff

Rapid Review Guidance

The instructions on this page are for rapid review teams who are consulting with the librarian at TPH about their rapid review projects.

Overview of 10 Steps used for Screening

1. Create a "Working Copy" of the EndNote Library

a. Open EndNote software (from the Start menu on your computer). If you don't have the software, see Request EndNote software.

b. Locate the EndNote Library you wish to open (e.g. PretermBirth.enl). If you navigate to the place where your EndNote Library is saved (e.g. EIDM folder), you can see a Data Folder and an ENL file.  Double click the ENL file. Note: Alternatively, library staff may have shared a compressed EndNote Library with you via email (see attachment). The compressed library emailed to you will likely have an ENLX file extension (e.g. PretermBirth.enlx) can be opened by double clicking.  

c. From the File menu select "Save a Copy"  

d. Rename the file to distinguish it from the original (e.g. by adding "duplicates removed" to the file name you could have a file named: PretermBirth_DuplicatesRemoved.enl)

2. Combine all Database Results (recall that you're working in the PretermBirth_DuplicatesRemoved.enl file). You may wish to keep a notebook where you document your work so that if questions arise later about duplicates or sets created for screening you can refer to your notes.

a. In EndNote, from the Groups menu select "Create From Groups..."

b. Name the Group (e.g. "All Results")

c. From the drop down menu select a database (e.g. MEDLINE)

d. From the smaller drop down menu select OR

e. From the drop down menu select another database (e.g. CINAHL)

f. Repeat steps D and E until all databases are selected and combined with "OR" (e.g. MEDLINE OR CINAHL OR Health Evidence OR SocINDEX OR Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews).

g. Click create. These results will appear in a "From Group" (Venn diagram icon).

h. You may wish to move these results into a Custom Group (if you wish to do so, select Groups menu > Create Group > name Group e.g. "All Resuls" > highlight results in From Group > CTRL + A to select all > drag and drop highlighted records into Custom Group)

i. If you wish to declutter your library, you can delete the "From Group" once your "Custom Group" is created.

3. Remove Duplicates

a. Select the "All Results" group

b. In EndNote select References menu

c. Select "Find Duplicates"

d. Notice a "Duplicate References" group will appear (see top left of screen under "All References"). Plus, in a pop-up window you are given a "side by side" comparison of 2 duplicate records at a time.  You can scroll down to compare all fields in the 2 records. The side by side view highlights the fields that have differences (e.g. keywords in all caps or in lower case or abstract available/unavailable or author names entered in full or with initials only).  Click "Keep this record" for the records that is more complete/accurate (includes abstract/authors/DOI - digital object identifier, etc.).  The record you do not keep is automatically moved to the Trash.  

Alternatively, you can click on Cancel (in the pop up window) to see a full screen where the duplicate records appear highlighted in a "line by line" view. You can drag and drop the Duplicates into the Trash if you are in the "line by line" view.

Note:  If you are completing a PRISMA table (for publication purposes or reporting), you will track the number of duplicates you remove.   

e. You have various options on how to proceed after identifying duplicates:

Option 1: Identify & move duplicate records to Trash. Keep a notebook (print/electronic) where you track duplicate records. Empty the Trash. Move to Step 4 in this LibGuide. (Note: each group member may notice other duplicates during screening so this number may need to be revised.)

Option 2: Retain a copy of your Duplicates in one EndNote Library and create a new Library for screening purposes. See the steps below:

i) Create a Custom Group titled Duplicates and drag/drop the duplicate records into this group.  

ii) Retain a copy of this library (which you named "Duplicates Removed" in Step 1 d) so you can refer to this "Duplicates removed" EndNote library (e.g. "PretermBirth_DuplicatesRemoved.enl") if you ever need to know the # of duplicate records.

iii) Make a copy of the "Duplicates Removed" EndNote library (File > Save a Copy) and clearly name the new library (e.g. "PretermBirth_Screening Sets.enl" or another such name).  

iv) In the NEW renamed library (e.g. "PretermBirth_Screening Sets.enl") delete the "Duplicates" Custom Group. Or, if your duplicates are in the Trash you can Empty Trash.

v) Move to Step 4 in this LibGuide. 


4. Split results into groups for screening purposes (recall that you're working in the "PretermBirth_Screening Sets.enl" file). Remember to keep notes in your notebook in case questions arise later about the records and screening sets or duplicates.   

Remember that you will want to have two reviewers for each record.

a. Split your search results according to the group members available. See table below for an example of how groups might split screening 1000 records among 2 or 3 or 4 group members.

Sample Search Results (records to screen) # Group Members Screening Sets
1000 2 group members No screening sets are required. Each person will screen all the records (so that you have 2 reviewers per record).
1000 3 group members

Create 3 ~ equal groups (e.g. Set A 333 records + Set B 333 records + Set C 334 records). Next, use steps b - j  below this table to create sets.

Group member 1: screen Set A & Set B (666 records)

Group Member 2: screen Set A & Set C (667 records)

Group member 3: screen Set B & Set C (667 records)

1000  4 group members

Create two equal groups and move them into separate group sets (e.g. Set A 500 records + Set B 500 records).

Identify pairs so that each pair screens half the records. 

Group member 1: screen set A (500 records) 

Group Member 2: screen set A (500 records) 

Group member 3: screen set B (500 records) 

Group Member 4: screen set B (500 records) 

Next, use steps b - j  below this table to create sets.

NOTE: In EndNote (desktop version) the "record number" field is not a reliable method of splitting results. Sometimes the numbers in this field can change (e.g. when syncing with EndNote online, or making a new copy of the library, or if you're working from an EndNote library that was emailed to you, or you're adding records to an existing EndNote library). 

b. Generally, the Year field is a reliable field to use. Ensure that there are no records with an empty Year field (e.g. some ERIC database records have Date field completed and Year fields are blank).  From your "All Results" group, you will want to create a SMART group which helps you split results into two or three equal groupings. You can sort records by clicking on the column heading. Clicking on Year will sort the results in ascending/descending order. You can scroll down to see the half way point and determine what years you need to use to split the results in half (e.g. search included records from 2014 to 2019 so scrolling through the records revealed that half the records are from 2014-2016 and the other half are from 2017-2019).

c. In EndNote select Group menu > Smart Groups

d. Name your Smart Group (e.g. Records from 2014 - 2016

e. Identify the selection criteria for the Smart Group by selecting a field and the values that should appear in the field. You may have to try this step a few times to determine the best way to split your set evenly.  (e.g. Year field "contains" 2014 OR Year field "contains" 2015 OR Year field contains 2016).

f. Click Create.

g. You will see a new SMART group (cogwheel or gear icon) in your group set. The contents of this Smart Group are constantly being updated if new records happen to be added to your library that meet the selection criteria of Year field contains 2014, 2015, 2016.  It is recommended that you create a Custom Group and move these results into a static Custom group for screening purposes.    

h. repeat steps B to F until you have determined the best way to split results into evenly sized groups.

i. Create a new "Screening" Group Set to place the screening records for each group member.

j. Within the "Screening" Group Set create Custom groups for each person to screen (identify by name or initials or another method).

k. EndNote libraries (Desktop version of EndNote) cannot be access by multiple users. You can now save this file multiple times so that each group member is screening in their individual file. (e.g. PretermBirth_Screening_GroupMember1, PretermBirth_Screening_Group Member2, PretermBirth_Screening_GroupMember3). This means that you can screen at the same time. 

l. Take notes througout the process. Remember to use your notebook to record the number of records each group member is screening.  Also ask each group member to use the Notes field (or another method agreed upon by the group) to track any additional duplicates that they come across.  The "Find duplicates function is customizable in EndNote (you may change the settings and run it multiple times.  However, some duplicates may be missed so it's important to discuss what to do if other duplicates are found during screening. Ensure everyone uses a consistent methods and when you regroup tally these additional duplicates for your PRISMA table.   

5. Document how your group will ensure consistency in tagging "included" or "excluded" records

a. Will you use the Rating field or the Label field (this is usually blank in most bibliographic records you download)?

b. What tag or note will you add to the field? Be consistent (e.g. use 1 Star Rating for Excluded studies; use 5 Star Rating for excluded studies)

c. Will you use another field (e.g. Unsure or "Interesting but Exclude").  To save time, it is recommended that you refrain from creating an "UNSURE" category. Why is the UNSURE category not recommended?

i. Unsure suggests you're unable to make a judgment on this article.  If the title is vague and there is no abstract you probably need to "INCLUDE" this article and review the full text.  Items in the "INCLUDE" bucket need to be reviewed further. You can reject it in the next round of screening (full text article screening).

ii. Unsure might suggest that you're unable to decide if an article meets the inclusion/exclusion criteria. If so, you may need to discuss revisions or clarification on the inclusion/exclusion criteria developed by the group. Clarify criteria and proceed with screening.  

iii. Creating an UNSURE bucket serves little purpose. You will either screen the full text of a record or you will not.  

6. Screen records (Recall that you will work in the PretermBirth_Screening_GroupMember1.enl file).

NOTE: Sometimes groups screen some records together to see if everyone is screening/applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria consistently.  Disagreements about study inclusion/exclusion at this early stage can help you revise or clarify your inclusion exclusion criteria before everyone proceeds with screening individually.

a. Before starting screening, each group member can use their personal Copy of an EndNote library (see step 1 c above on how to create copies of an EndNOte Library).. Step 4 (k) in this guide describes the file naming convention.  Group member 1 will open their file (e.g. PretermBirth_Screening_GroupMember1.enl.). Use the Screening Group Set and select the Custom group that you are screening (look for your name or initials).  Notice if the Trash is empty in this library. If it isn't make a note of what's there so that there's no confusion about the contents of the Trash.

b. Review inclusion exclusion criteria before screening (each time).

c. In your own EndNote "Screening" Library, review each record. Be consistent and discuss a consistent process with group members(e.g. review selection criteria, screen title first, then tag with 1 star for exclude or 5 stars for include; if title is unclear/vague then read the abstract,then tag with 1 star for exclude or 5 stars for include.)

d. Tag record as your group decided (e.g. Stars in Rating Field or "INCLUDE" in Label field)

e. If you come across interesting studies that you want to use for other projects (but the study is unrelated to the rapid review you're currently conducting), decide on a system for marking or flagging these for yourself. 

7. Combine all Included Studies in one EndNote Library

a. Open the Original Library and Save a Copy (step 1c above). Name this library accordingly (e.g. PretermBirth_IncludedStudies).

b. Ensure that each group member saves the endnote library with their included studies in an accessible folder (EIDM EndNote Libraries Folder for your group).   

c. You can open multiple EndNote Libraries in one window (e.g. open EndNote Screening library_GroupMember1, EndNote Screening Library_GroupMember2, EndNote Screening Library_GroupMember3). These libraries should have each group members included studies (e.g. those with a 5 star rating or whatever other methods you may have decided to use to tag "included" studies).

d. Drag and drop the "included" records from each group members library into the new library you named in step 7a above (e.g. "PretermBirth_IncludedStudies" EndNote library).

e. Once all included studies are in a group, you can use different methods to identify the duplicates or to identify the screening discrepancies.  (e.g. Step 1: Create FROM group with "Group Member1_IncludedStudies" NOT "GroupMember2_IncludedStudies" and ask Member 2 and Member 1 to discuss these studies to reach consensus. Step 2: Create FROM Group with "GroupMember2_IncludedStudies" NOT "GroupMember1_IncludedStudies" and ask both members to discuss these studies to reach consensus. repeat these steps with other group members who were screening the same sets of records.)

f. After consensus is reached on all records, you should have a final "included" list of articles. If you are unsure please check with the library staff for tips.

8. Use Find Full Text function in EndNote

a. In EndNote use the Edit menu

b. select Preferences

c. Click on Find Full Text

d. In the pop-up window make sure the OpenURL box has a checkmark

e. In the Open URL path box copy/paste this URL:

In EndNote, you will use the References> Find Full Text function.  The OpenURL above will download a link to the article.  Currently, the PDF is not being downloaded. You are provided with a persistent link to the full text article.  The link will open in the database where the article is available.  If you are taken to a publisher's website, please do not pay for the article. Report this to the library and we will investigate further. You will need to check the library eJournals (see Step 9) or request the article from the library (see step 10).



9. Check A-Z list in Library Portal for any included articles.

To search electronic journals (eJournals) you can follow these steps:

a. Visit Library Portal

b. Click eJournals

c. Click Yes on the security warning

d. Click Yes, I Agree on the Electronic Publications Use Policy

e. Type the journal name in the search box (e.g. Journal of Nutrition Education an Behavior)

f. Click search

g. Click Full Text Access link (below the journal name). If the journal is not found, jump to Step 10.

Note that the journal may be available from multiple sources/databases (E.g. Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, Nursing and Allied Health and each collection may have different dates of coverage. For instance, if you need an article from 1998 you would select the last link: Nursing and Allied Health Database).

Note: Sometimes there are embargos on journals. For example, Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention has a full text delay of 18 months. The current 18 months are blocked by the publisher. Although you may see this embargo information, we suggest you click on the link to the databases. The database will contain the citations of current articles and sometimes if we're lucky there may be select articles that are open access. (Although the entire journal may not be Open Access, single articles may be. This means that an author may have paid the journal a fee to make the article freely available online).


h. Once you click on the database link you will be taken to another webpage. The options for accessing articles varies in each database/platform.

i. First, you may need to browse the "Archives" or view "Past Issues" or use a drop down indicating the "Year of Publication."

j. Next, locate the right Volume #, then select the Issue #. Then, scroll through the journal issue to locate the article you need. (These steps vary in each database. Please call if you have questions).



10. If you don't find an article you require, submit bulk article requests to

a. Use an excel file that includes these headings (you can also email hlibarary to ask for an Excel file template with these headings):

Your Name Date of Request Material Type (article/book) Journal Title of journal article Author, volume. issue , page #

Year of publication

Minakshi Sharma 02-Feb-19 article Psychological Services A meta-analysis of the relationship between job burnout and secondary traumatic stress among workers with indirect exposure to trauma  Ciselak, R., Shoji, K., Douglas, A., Melville, E., Luszczynska A, Benight, C.C. Volume 11, Issue 1, pages 75-86 2014

Email the completed file to



Plan to Succeed

TPH Library