EndNote library shared by multiple users without reference duplication


I am part of a team of 25 researchers that work in the same lab with shared network access. To decrease our data footprint (both local and network) and increase access to reference material, we are looking to develop a centralized reference library. Our library comprises ~7000 references with PDF attachments that all users need access to. Ideally, we would like to have the EndNote library stored in one single location, i.e. one local computer or one network folder that is updated and managed by a single library administrator. This library would then be shared with all 25 users in a way that allows read-only access, but does not require them to download the library to their local hard drive. 

When speaking with EndNote support they made the solution to our needs seem very simple. They recommended that we host the library on one computer that syncs to the EndNote cloud. This library could then be shared with up to 100 users with read & write or read-only privileges. However, what they did not mention is that when the library is shared this way, all 7000 references + attachments will automatically download onto the local hard drive of all users, regardless of their privilege status. With 25 users, this means that our large library will be repeated on 25 local hard drives. Obviously this isn’t going to reduce our data footprint. 

EndNote support strongly recommends that we do not store the library on our shared network drive. So I don’t know what to do. Perhaps, EndNote does not offer the solution we seek: key being… one single shared library that does not need to be duplicated in any way (other than a backup). 

Can anyone recommend a way to make this work?

Kind regards,


I didn’t realize opening a shared library copied it to the local hard drive, but it does work pretty efficiently, so I guess I am not surprised. Will have to explore whether it can be access it when I am off line?  Do you know where it is “saved”? 

The Developers don’t like it, but for 20 years, we have kept two libraries (with very different purposes) on our shared network drive and using a script, they (both the .enl and the .DATA folder) are copied every night to to a read only drive, and everyone uses the read only copy.  The Network drive is religiously backed up as well, and we can easily retrieve an earlier version up to a month or so, if something catostrophic did happen to them. There aren’t that many of us though, and we make sure that we communicate when we want to open the read/write copy and make sure we close it when we are finished. When open, other users get an error message, advising them someone has it open (but unfortunately not who has it open).  At work, we have very fast network connections, so it has never been a problem. Currently with many of us working from home, we do use the shared library functionality though.