EndNote X8 creates a ref list before I ask it to


I am a new EndNote user.  My setup is EN X8 for Windows 365.  At my work, we often reuse libraries for different papers.  Twice now I’ve opened a document that doesn’t have any citations inserted, opened the corresponding EndNote library, and EndNote has created a reference list automatically.

Here is the basic problem:

  1. A writer will start working on a new document.  Instead of retyping references, they will copy and paste the APA style citation (Smith et al, 2021) from a finished document that already has a reference list.  The finished document they are copy-pasting from already has an EndNote library which will be reused for the new document.
  2. The writer passes the document to me (my job is formatting and creating the bibliography).  My job is to insert references where they are indicated in the text – at this point the document does not have a reference list.  It only has in text citations like (Smith et al, 2021), which the writer sometimes types but sometimes copy pastes (see number 1), that are meant to be placeholders showing me where to put the real citation.
  3. Here is where the problem arises: when I open the document AND the EndNote library (using the same EndNote library as was used in the document they copy-pasted from), EndNote automatically populates a reference list based on the copy-pasted citations.  Those automatically inserted references are often incorrectly formatted.  I can’t remove them from the text even if I turn off instant formatting.
  4. After this I struggle for hours trying to undo what EndNote did automatically.

What is the best way to avoid this problem?  My first instinct is to ask the authors not to copy-paste the citations but I might get pushback because I’m new at this company and people don’t like change, etc.  Thank you!  

The EN citations and their corresponding references are tied together. If you copy a citation from a document and paste it into another document, it will bring its reference with it, even if the library is not open. If a writer wants to copy citations without bringing the references along with them they need to uncouple the citations and references in the original document. Once this done, it cannot be undone. Therefore it is best to make a copy of the document from which you want to copy the cites/references and separate the citations from their references in that copy. Save the original in the format that still has the cites and references hooked together. to separate the tie between citations and references go to the bibliography seciton of the EN ribbon> click on the drop-down menu next to Convert Citation and Bibliograpy> select Rich Text. Then they can copy citations and stick them into a new document. When you get the new document you need to open the corresponding library so that you can go to the place in the text where they have pasted the citation> click on Insert Citation> find the correct reference in the library and Insert. That will then create a citation that is tied to the reference that is created in the new document.  

I agree with thomsonmaria on some of the comments, but you shouldn’t need to make your colleagues change their work flow.  The first thing I would do with the document when you receive it, is to open their document then “convert to temporary citations” so they appear as the curley bracketed kind. Delete any residual bibliography at that point.  If instant formating is turned off, they should not automatically format and create a bibliography and any vestigies of the “traveling library” that Marie is referencing will be gone too. 

But even if they did get formatted wrongly, if you change the output style, it should update the references to the style you wanted.