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Citation Help: EndNote

What is EndNote?

There are two versions of the EndNote Citation Manager, EndNote Basic and EndNote Desktop.

EndNote Basic is a web-based bibliographic management tool for collecting, organizing, sharing and formatting citations.

All University of Iowa students, faculty and staff are eligible for a FREE EndNote Basic account.

EndNote Desktop is a version of EndNote stored locally on your computer and is available to graduate and professional students, faculty, and staff. 

EndNote Basic vs. EndNote Desktop


EndNote desktop

EndNote Basic

Best use

Those with complex, ongoing research projects and planning on career of publication who are primarily using the same workstation for research and writing.

Less complex projects. Ideal for those who are going to be using multiple computers for research.

Location of files

Locally on your computer

On EndNote Basic site (server)

Getting citations in…

Automatic export from many databases. 2 step process if not available.

Automatic export from many databases. 2 step process if not available.

# of styles

Over 4500

Over 3200


Because library lives on your computer, sharing is through sharing of computer or compressing files. Colleagues will need EndNote installed to view

Manage Groups feature allows you to share groups with anyone with an EndNote Basic account (though pdfs cannot be shared in this way). Non-UI folks can sign up for a free version of EndNote Basic.

Overall strengths

Great for very large amounts of citations. Also has a feature that can pull some PDF’s and automatically attach them to citations.

Very easy to learn, use anywhere with an internet connection. Fairly easy to share citations with others.


  EndNote Desktop EndNote Basic
Pricing Free for faculty, staff, and graduate or professional students - $113.95 for undergraduate students FREE
Reference Storage Unlimited 50,000
Attachment Storage Unlimited 2 GB
Bibliographic Formatting Styles All styles (5,000+) All styles (5,000+)
Reference Sharing Yes Yes
Send references directly from online databases 500+ 500+
Search online resources from within EndNote 6,000+ 1,800+
Formatting in Microsoft Word Yes Yes
One-click 'Find Full Text' Yes No
Automatic reference updating Yes No
Advanced reference organization Yes No

How to get EndNote Desktop?

Please note that EndNote Desktop is available for free to faculty, staff,  graduate and professional students only. Undergraduates will need to use EndNote Basic, purchase EndNote from the University Bookstore, or choose another citation management program.

EndNote Help

Librarians are available to help you with your questions. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have regarding citation styles, citation management, etc.

Ask a question below or contact your subject specialist librarian for more help!


Frequently Asked Questions about EndNote Desktop via the UI Libraries

View the answers to these questions here.

  • How do I move references from RefWorks to EndNote Desktop?
  • Can I install EndNote Desktop at no cost to myself?
  • How can I attach a PDF to my reference?
  • How can I connect to UI Link through EndNote?
  • How can I make EndNote automatically convert abbreviated journal names to full journal names?
  • How can I find full text articles for my citations?

Training and Support

If you have any questions or need assistance with EndNote Desktop, please Ask a Librarian or use the links below.

Known Endnote Desktop Issues

4/24/2017: Max iCloud users: EndNote libraries are corrupted when they are backed up to iCloud. Solution: move your EN library (including both the .enl and .data folders) to a new folder in your Home folder.

2/8/2017: EndNote Online Search error: "Host refused connection"

If you receive the following error message: "Host refused connection at TCP level", you need to make changes to your settings. Here are some instructions.