Adding DOIs retrospectively

It would be really useful if some way could be found to ‘harvest’ DOIs and add them to records already in an Endnote library.  I have a researcher who has about 800 references and needs to add DOIs.  They could do a search - find duplicates and then delete the earlier records, but these have added notes so this is not really an option.  They will probably have to search for each reference one at a time and copy and paste the information.

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I second this request. We also want to be able to add PubMed Central ID numbers to references that already exist. So far I haven’t found a great way to do this.

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Any luck with this? As APA 6 is now asking for DOI I have to figure out a way to get them all into the references I already have in endnote.

This feature I requested recently would solve many problems like yours. If we are able to export reference data and import without changing record number, adding DOI, adding senior author data, etc would become possible. Of course, for the DOI specific issue, a function similar to “Find Full Text” function would be nice. I mean, “Find DOI” automatically search internet and “append” the data withouth changing the record number.

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Any update on this issue?

I also think it’s an excellent suggestion, and I hope the developers at Endnote can offer some support here. I currently have a large database with over 3000 entries, several of which lack DOI and/or PMCID information. It would be great if I could simply have these entries updated without changing my library.

I am more than happy to beta test any developments that attempt to follow up on these suggestions. Thanks.

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I also concur with this request. I downloaded X5, thinking that X5 would have this functionality. Sadly, it does not, at least for me. I couldn’t get any of my references (which are in well known publishers such as Blackwell and Taylor and Francis) to update either… and given that many of mine are print versions (hence, the update function wouldn’t get the correct DOI), having the functionality to import from an alternative source is essential.

Not looking forward to updating 2500 references manually…

Despite mdreher’s experience, I have had good luck updating records orginally downloaded from PubMed.  It is a bit of a pain that you need to do this on a record by record basis, but you probably also want the flexibility of choosing whether you want to update all “different” fields or only those that were empty and might not want that process automated. 

Mdreher, could you provide an example of a record that you are not having success updating? This is usually exactly the kind of scenario the X5 update feature is excellent for; pulling PMCIDs and DOIs where they are available.

If you could provide me some of the basic reference information, I could make a “dummy record” and see if I can get X5 to pull in the DOI etc.

Sorry it took so long to respond back.

I’m a humanities person, so PubMed and others are not what I typically research.

I’ll provide 2 examples from my library (note - just copying and pasting as plain text, not technically APA 6):

Sanford, A. A. (2010). ‘I Can Air My Feelings Instead of Eating Them’: Blogging as Social Support for the Morbidly Obese. Communication Studies, 61(5), 567-584.
EndNote can’t find the DOI. Cross-Ref can (10.1080/10510974.2010.514676).

Enck-Wanzer, D. (2006). Trashing the System: Social Movement, Intersectional Rhetoric, and Collective Agency in the Young Lords Organization’s Garbage Offensive. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 92(2), 174-201.
EndNote can’t find the DOI. Cross-Ref can (10.1080/00335630600816920)

I’ve honestly had MUCH better success using CrossRef - not that it was 100%, but it was far better than what I could find with EndNote. Indeed, it seems that for me, EndNote works best if I already have the DOI, which sort of defeats the purpose. All EndNote can do for me in that instance is to verify typos and spelling, which, while not completely trivial, still isn’t all that I hoped for.

I was easily able to find many updates for this record using the EndNote X5 feature:

Enck-Wanzer, D. (2006). Trashing the System: Social Movement, Intersectional Rhetoric, and Collective Agency in the Young Lords Organization’s Garbage Offensive. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 92(2), 174-201.

This is what I did:

  • From within EndNote, I used the CrossRef connection and pasted in 10.1080/00335630600816920 - this found one record which i downloaded into my library.

  • I then opened this record and deleted the DOI to simulate the condition where one did not have the DOI and wanted it added retrospectively.

  • I then ran the Find Reference Updates feature and EndNote found updated field information from the Web of Science - including the DOI, expanded keywords, Abstract, etc.

When running your tests are you IP authenticated to the Web of Science? To best take advantage of this feature your university would need a subscription to Web of Science that EndNote could then leverage. This feature also uses PubMed and CrossRef which are free resources.

I hope this helps.

Jason Rollins, the EndNote team


We don’t have Web of Science. How do I leverage CrossRef? I do have an account there.