Endnote web bibliography only gives first initials

Hello everyone - I am also an Endnote newbie (having migrated from Reference Manager to try it out - I know Refman well, so I am not a novice to reference software) so apologize if this is a stupid question.

I am using Endnote Web, and when I try to create a bibliography, it only prints out first initials in the author lists (e.g., Lam R, Jones S, Smith L), even though I know the styles I am using specifies both initials (Lam RW, Jones SR, Smith LT). I have used several styles (Arch Gen Psychiatry, Amer J Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry) and the same thing happens. I checked my citations and both initials are present in the reference. This happens whether I use CWYW in Word, or whether I try to generate a reference list from the web site.

I checked all the FAQs and tried to find the issue in the forums, but no luck, so I thought I would impose on the collective to get an answer to what I am doing wrong.



This is most likely a problem with the way your authors are entered into the records.  There needs to be a space between the initials or Endnote doesn’t distinguish them from firstnames. 

Thanks very much, Leanne. Yes, the records only had initials, and when I edited the records and put a space between the initials, then they format correctly in a bibliography.

However, I collected these records via the On-Line Search feature, using PubMed (NLM). Does that mean I can’t use the on-line search, since it does not seem to collect the records properly? Using the PubMed.gov web site, I was able to save a file and import it correctly into Endnote Web, but it is obviously much more convenient to collect records using the On-Line Search.

Is there a trick to On-Line Search with PubMed that will collect the records properly?



I rarely use Endnote Web, but I would be surprised if it imported the author names incorrectly?  EndnoteX4 using the Connect feature correctly downloads the initials with spaces.  Exactly how are you getting the records? 

Thanks for your prompt reply, Leanne.

The procedure for using Online Search in Endnote Web appears straightforward, without many “options”. Here’s how I’ve been doing it:

  1. Select Online Search from Collect tab.

  2. Step 1. Select database from pull-down menu (PubMed NLM). Click on Connect.

  3. Step 2. Enter keyword (e.g., Lam) and select field from pull-down menu (e.g., Author). Click on Search.

  4. Step 3. When the search results come up, check selected records, then select Add to Group from the pull-down menu. 

  5. Voila, records added to Group and All My References.

However, any record retrieved using the PubMed NLM connect seems to only include author last name and initials, in this format: Lam RW

Any thoughts as to what is happening? I can’t imagine why others haven’t noticed this issue, unless I am doing something fundamentally wrong.

Regards, Ray.

Yep - I concur, they are incorrectly imported resulting in the loss of the second and subsequent initials.  I also am surprised it hasn’t been noted before!  This is a serious bug for Endnote Web users in my mind. 

This issue was fixed with the November release of EndNote Web. All initials and names should be brought in correctly through EndNote Web’s online search. Thanks to the forum for notifiying us of the problem.

This problem also occurs in EndNote X4 when one imports directly from Google Scholar. When will this be fixed??


This problem still occurs in EndNote X4 (on a Mac) when I import directly from Google Scholar. Is THomson aware of this? When will it be fixed??

Thanks, brianf

Since I don’t work for thomson Reuters - I just use Endnote allot and  have a full time job as a scientist :smiley:, I suggest that you ask Tech support? 

Hi Leane

This is exactly the problem I describe in this report:


and you answered that it was normal… Probably my message was not enough precise.