Endnote : automaticaly fill the reference

Hi, my english is not that good so I will try to make my question clear, sorry if I don’t express myself as clear as I wished.

Usually in Endnote I have to search a reference in pubmed, that gives me the author, year, title, etc, and then I attach to it a pdf file.

But is it possible to put the pdf in Endnote, and then it automaticaly fills in the fields in the reference?

Because I have a lot of pdf and it’s really tedious to manualy search every single article in order to get their reference and then attach the pdf, if I could copy and paste all my pdf and be done with it it would be a great relief.

Thank you by advance.

Best regards, Damien.


Yes, this is possible, but the pdf’s have to be professionally made with doi number. Please note that this will not work for all pdf-files. If it doesn’t work, you get a reference with the name of the pdf file as the only reference data. NB! You must be connected to the internet for this to work.

File → Import → File/Folder

Choose the pdf file or a folder with several pdf files.

For import option you have to choose “PDF” from the drop down menue.

Finish with “Import”.

EndNote will try to create references from the pdf file(s) and will also add the pdf file to the created reference(s).

Best wishes

Jan Ove

And if it does pull enough of the basic information, you can then try the “Find Reference Updates” and it may be able to retrieve more information from the database.  So retrieving the record from a database then getting the PDF with “Find Full Text” or importing the PDF and following up with “Find Reference Updates” are both two step processes.  

For improved “find full text” and possibly reference updates, make sure you turn on PubMed in the “Find Full Text” Endnote preferences (edit>preferences on a PC) which is not on by default.  But when you do, remember not to try to use the feature on more that 20 or 30 at a time, or PubMed may interpret the multiple requests as denial of service attacks and block your institution’s access! 

You’ve just made my day and saved me a lot of time!

A warm thank you to both of you, or merci as we say in french.


A very last question though : is there a way to search the references for the pdf I’ve just imported but that have no doi number without creating a new file since I already have it in Endnote now?

don’t worry about asking more questions! 

I usually try to copy a critical DOI or Pubmed number into the existing record and see if it will fill in details from the “update” option.  I haven’t done that for a while, so it might need some trial and error to figure out the critical component(s).