Dropbox folders and Endnote

I intend to try, but does anyone have any experience with using Dropbox folders for sharing endnote libraries and files? 

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I do not have any personal experience, but I recently worked with a user who was having a number of problems with his Endnote library.  In the process of troubleshooting, I found this thread on the dropbox forum:


My user’s problem was a corrupted library. This dropbox forum thread talks about corrupted libraries. We could not determine if dropbox had anything to do with corrupting his library.

It’s something to be aware of.


Reading over that thread and googling dropbox and endnote suggests that it once worked, but may not work with more recent Dropbox versions due to changes in how it handles open files.  I might play when I have some time, to see if this is still the case.  Thanks Emily for the pointer. 

Seeing as Endnote web is so poor, clunky, and problematic and won’t sync (something to do with one file having an exception character but no useful error messages or help to identify that) I have to use dropbox to work cross platfrom.

No problems so far - you need to change the preferences and folder locations so they;re on dropbox as well nbut it works really well with library, pdfs, styles, filters and connections all on drop box.


I have used Endnote successfully with libraries and styles for about the last 2 years. versions X4 and X5 accross 2 desktops and 2 laptops. No problems found to date.

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At this time, we do not recommend opening a library from a Dropbox location. See the following Knowledge Base article:


See the following forum post for more information:


Jason Berman
Technical Sup Rep RS

Thomson Reuters

Phone: +1 800-336-4474

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I’m sure Thompson don’t recommend it: it makes endnote good and usable on mobiles and cross platforms simultaneously and almost as seamless as rival products like mendeley (which unfortunately seem to be the all things you guys try to avoid.)

So: When is cloud support coming?

Why is Endnote web so rubbish on mobiles?

To whit: it is chronicly slow and clunky upload and download, crap with collections and clunky interface anyway however the mobile version manages to be even worse! Specifically: mobile view doesn’t even let you access pdf files but lists link instead. This requires changing to full view, re-searching and then finally getting to an attachment. Or I could have read the whole article by that time if I used dropbox. I could even annotate it (though as your annotations don’t work cross-platform I ber endnote won’t read them…)

So: I need dropbox to easily get to pdf files. The idea/model endnote still clings to of referencing being a separate activity from searching, reading and annotating is so old (and the latter two suck on endnote compared to Colwiz or mendeley) however that’s not as old as having one library on one computer you go to to do work at - which seems to be what you are saying (or is it use endnote web except that’s too slow and uploading PDFs is flaky and often inexplicably fails oh and it doesn’t ‘sync’ seamlessly but is as far as I can tell a pre-web FTP model of file sharing). I can’t help but wonder if X5’s code name was “Canute”… 

Is the final answer therefore: we don’t support cloud computing because it was invented since endnote? Or is it in development. A “don’t do it” message and set of warnings seems particularly contemptuopus of the users struggling with the shortcomings of your product and seeking to find workarounds that are appropriate for those of us who work on multiple computers and mobile devices (which I can only infer you don’t do at Thompson Reuters? Else surely you would have noticed cloud computing NEEDS SUPPORT not “don’t do it” messages!!!)

So: when for cloud support and a cloud version of endnote web, sync and a mobile accessible way of getting to PDF files? Dropbox gives all those - backup your library DEFINITELY and regularly but saying “we don’t recommend that” isn’t very helpful. What DO you recommend to compensate for all the shortcomings dropbox fixes identified above?

I have been using Dropbox pairing with Endnote all the while, without any major problem.

However, I realise that if you intend to use Pages with Endnote, there might be a problem, as Pages will constantly pop-up saying it cannot find the Endnote library - as it assumes the Endnote library has to be in the default location.

I have used EndNote with Dropbox for a couple of years.  Since reading this thread though I am wondering if a couple of problems I have experienced might not be connected to not having my libraries in the Documents folder on Mac.  I will update this thread if I have any success in resolving anything by moving out of drop box.  I find the Web synch work fine for me actually anyway and from Dropbox too.

I find that if you forget to close endnote in one place and try to access from another computer,corruption occurs.  I have a friend who uses his dropbox library, but he is the only one with access and his laptop goes home with him, and thus it is the only computer on which he uses Endnote and access that folder from.  – he has no trouble.  (but then I wonder why bother having on dropbox, when you could just keep it on the harddrive!)

Yes Leanne, once I had thought it thru I could see little point in having it on Dropbox really in the first place.  I really think, though I am an old curmudgeon now I am fully aware, that the technology is sometimes leading the citation culture not vice versa, I am also lucky not to be in a high citation field?? Again one could ask questions about that I suppose?  As a matter of fact I have reverted to doing copy and paste from EndNote to Scrivener!! I find I have more control that way.  Also why are people insisting on having 300 page+ Word and Pages docs, it is ridiculous and easy enough to spread a dissertation over a few docs.  An old colleague of mine used to insist that his supervisees did that; especially when they came to him with problems.  

After a week or so of having stopped using Dropbox I think my EndNote is working a lot better.  I am not really missing Dropbox either in any way.  Pages works from the cloud if I need it, my library is there too via EndNoteWeb and my other docs are accesible via Mac sharing.   It will be nice when Apple iron out a couple of glitches with Pages plugin.  I am using Scrivener anyway most of the time and it seems to work well with EndNote though I have not tried to compile anything yet.

I have had problems using Dropbox and Endnote at the same time. Specifically, I have found that if Dropbox is open and active, it gets messed up by what appears to me to be Endnote’s behind-the-scenes activity of constantly saving little files everytime you do anything. Well, my amateur diagnosis doesn’t matter - but my solution to the problem does worK: if I pause Dropbox’s syncing function, everything works fine with Endnote. Then when I’m done with Endnote, I shut it down and un-pause Dropbox. It syncs fine then and causes no problems, and when I open a different computer (say, at home) and sync everything with Dropbox, pause it, and then open Endnote, everything looks exactly as I left it at work. The key, in short: always pause Dropbox right before you open Endnote, and only unpause it after you close Endnote.

Thank you Richard. Pausing Dropbox while I have Endnote open fixed the problem. Phew.