Adding abstracts

Hi there, does anyone know a way to have EndNote look online and automatically add the abstracts to references already in the library? Alternatively can it parse abstracts from the pdfs?

Many thanks in advance,


If you have EndNote X4 and prior, you would need to manually update the existing library references or re-download the records from a source that supplies the abstract information. If you have EndNote X5, you can use the Reference Update feature. The following is from the EndNote X5 Help Guide:

Updating References

You can select and update individual references or multiple references from the Review Available Updates dialog by retrieving information from source databases outside EndNote such as Web of Science and PubMed.

The Find Reference Updates option is available from the References menu and as an icon from the Reference window. When you select this option, EndNote searches for and retrieves available field updates for the selected reference. If a reliable match is found, EndNote displays a Review Reference Updates dialog that shows you all the updates that were found. An error message displays if a reliable match cannot be found or if no updates are available.

To update a reference:

  1. Select one or more references (highlight them) from the Reference List or open a reference in the Reference window.

  2. From the References menu, select the Find Reference Updates option to open the Review Available Updates dialog.

Note: Click the Find Reference Updates icon from the tool bar if you are updating a reference from the Reference window.

  1. All updates are highlighted in blue in both the Available Updates and the My Reference panels. For each update that EndNote finds for a record, you can:
  • Click the Update All Fields button to update all the fields in the My References panel with updated information from the Available Updates panel.

  • Click the Update Empty Fields button to update every empty field in the My Reference panel with the new information from the Available Updates panel.

  1. If necessary, edit any of the information in the fields in the My Reference panel.

  2. When you are done making your changes, click the Save Updates button to save your changes.

  3. Click Yes when the EndNote dialog appears prompting you to save your changes.

Note: If you have selected more than one reference, click the Skip button to skip a particular reference that you do not wish to update.

Note: All fields within the My Reference panel will display even if they are empty.

Jason Berman
Technical Sup Rep RS

Thomson Reuters

Phone: +1 800-336-4474


I don’t think this response answers the question.

Is there a way to Update References all at once-- i.e., not have to click “Update all fields” and “Save Updates” for each and every ref?

I would like to just tell it to accept updated values automatically for every reference.

That is the meaning of “update with one click”-- not 2-3 clicks per references

Yes I agree. This answer does not answer the question asked. I also want to know whether I can get all the references updated in one click. Otherwise I have to wait in front of the monitor pressing either “update all fields” or “update empty fields” button and then saving changes. A time waster. And I use EndNote X7. It appears that they do not look at the posts here and take them into consideration when designing the next upgrade.

I don’t know if it is X8 specific, but After deciding on the first option, it provides the dialog box prompt (see attached image). 
“Would you like to do this for all remaining references with updates?  Slect No to review reference updates individually.”  

This is new for EndNote X8. With this version of EndNote, you can automate the rest of the update process as Leanne outlined in her post.


I’m having a problem with updating my references in endnote. I have 4000 references, for which about 800 do not have abstracts. I have manually checked by clicking the URL for a reference, and the abstract is there on the database. I can’t figure out how to get endnote to recognise that the abstract is there to update. I am using endnote X9

Any help would be appreciated!