EndNote import issue


I am trying to import a file from Excel into EndNote X7 and have followed the steps outlined in this video:


I created a tab delimited text file from the Excel file and followed the other steps (opening in Word, removing all tabs after “*Generic” etc.). However, when I try to import the text file into EndNote I get this error message: “Tab Delimited Import Error. Bad field for this Reference Type – Abstracts. Please correct this problem and try again.”

I tried removing all text inside the column “Abstracts” in the Excel file and did the whole thing all over again, but the same error message occurred again. Do you have any idea what I can do in order to import the file into my library?

All help is greatly appreciated!

HBB - References from Excel into EndNote.txt (43.5 KB)

I just got an e-mail from the support team:

"So the issue is the naming convention on the fields in EndNote. You have to type the name exactly the same or you can get the error message.

In this case in EndNote the field is called Abstract and you have it as Abstracts.

Once you remove the s then EndNote should be able to import your file as long as you do not have any other spelling issues."

I changed the name from “Abstracts” to “Abstract” and now it works perfectly!

You might also recheck the Excel file as it seems there are some problems with the data when it’s imported into Endnote: 1) Multiple authors are listed in the Author field in a single line separated by commas (instead of being listed individually-per-line), and 2) various Endnote fields are missing data.

You might be able to correct both issues within Excel although the better way is to address the corrections prior to exporting the data into Excel. Were you exporting from Endnote into Excel?

Yes, I was exporting from EndNote into Excel. I purposefully removed a few EndNote fields because they were full of line breaks (e.g. references containing multiple URLs) which became new rows when the references were exported to Excel.  As for the authors, I did not know how to export them from EndNote in any other way that would format them differently.

Usually having multiple authors on a single line in the Author field could be easily corrected in Endnote by using the “Find and Replace” function. In your case it would be a matter of finding the period-comma-space which separates multiple authors and replacing it with a period-carriage return. (Refer to image #1.) This would then format each author on a separate line within the Author field. However, there’s a problem with your text file in that some of the multiple author names include the use of ampersands (&) and “et al.” as separators instead of the full author’s name.

So suggest you redo the export-import process. Before exporting your Endnote records into a text file (to be opened in Excel) you should modify two sections of the Tab Delimited output style concerning: 1) Author Lists, and 2) Author Names. (These changes will enable automatically formatting multiple authors on separate lines within the Endnote Author field.) A copy of the modified Tab delimited output style file is attached for your reference.

  1. Author Lists. Change the author separators to use a semicolon. The semicolon will act as the delimiter to separate multiple authors; and deleting the word “and” or the use of ampersands (&) as separators prevents them from being included in the exported data. (Refer to image #2, top.)
  2. Author Name. Change the name format of the authors to be in last name, first name order; and to include the full name. (Refer to image #2, bottom.) Save the changes by exiting the output style dialog box.

Export the Endnote records as a tab delimited text file using the modified Tab Delimited output style file. Then open the file in Excel, make whatever changes you wish then save it as a tab delimited text file. Open this file in MS Word and: one) check whether unwanted quotation marks or other characters need to be removed from the file; 2) include the Endnote field names at the top of your document as shown in your attached text file; save the file. Then import this file into Endnote. Multiple author names should automatically appear on separate lines within the Endnote Author field and omits ampersands (&) and “et al.”.
Tab Delimited_HansB.ens (15.8 KB)
Image 1#_Find and Replace.gif

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