EndNote desktop: organising your references


EndNote recommends you only have one reference library. This means that you will quickly build up a long list of references which you will need to organise to find what you need.

Organising your references using groups

A great feature of EndNote is Groups and Smart Groups. Groups essentially lets you organise your references into categories. You may choose to do this by assignment or unit or even general subject area. You can use a combination of Groups and Smart groups to get the most out of EndNote.


  • Groups are great for categorising your references into topic names, assignments, or chapters. They work similarly to a folder on a computer, i.e. you can drag things in and out of them to update them manually.
  • This type of Group is best used for things like assignments or specific projects your working on and it can also be shared with other EndNote users, making it ideal for group projects.

Watch this short video to find out how you can create a Group:

Video tutorial on how to create groups in your EndNote desktop library.

Smart groups

  • Smart groups are dynamic and once setup they will update without further work from you. When you create a smart group, you will define the criteria or parameters for what should be added and so it will update automatically.
  • Smart groups are most effective for gathering topics and themes in your references as it essentially brings together references you have that match the criteria you setup.

Watch this short video to find out how you can create a smart group:

Video tutorial of how to create Smart Groups in your EndNote desktop library.

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Removing duplicate references

It’s easy to build up a number of duplicate references especially when you have been using your EndNote library for a long time. So its a good idea to check for duplicates and remove them periodically. This is a quick process in EndNote desktop.

Watch this short video to find out how to remove duplicate entries within your library:

Video tutorial of how to remove duplicate entries in your EndNote desktop library.

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In this post we have covered three ways to keep your EndNote library organised. Further support for referencing and EndNote can be found below.

Further support

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Specialist Library Support

University of Manchester Library’s Specialist library…

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