How can I link an old Endnote library to a new Word doc that has citations in it, and make them correspond?

Hi all, I have a problem that might be strange, but I’d appreciate any help in solving it so I don’t have to do the brute force way. A while ago I was working on a manuscript in MS Word and was using Endnote Cite While You Write. At some point (passing the doc between colleagues), the references got messed up, or de-linked from the Endnote library, or something. We were pressed for time because we were trying to submit, so we ended up painfully doing the references by hand.

Now, many months later, we’re resubmitting. We’ve restructured the paper a lot and hope to get the references in order with Endnote again. I DO seem to have the necessary Endnote library (I can open it in Endnote, all the papers and references seem to be there), but in the text, the references are all out of order (for example, the first reference that appears might be [5] or something), and at the end is all the references.

Now, the references in the text are out of order, but they still actually correspond to the right numbered references at the end of the text. And, all those references at the end are still in that Endnote library I have. So it seems like I should be able to link the two and update them. Is there a way to do that?

It’s also not really clear to me how a Word doc knows which Endnote library it’s linked to. I can open multiple Endnote libs at the same time, so how does it know?

Thank you!

The Endnote-generated in-text citations and references in the MS Word doc are assigned a unique record number when added to an EndNote library. It’s the unique record number, which enables Endnote to identify and update in-text citations/references in a document.

If you say you have the correct Endnote library, did you 1st try (using a backup copy of your document) unformatting then reformatting the citations/references?

Hi, thanks so much for the advice.

When you say unformatting/reformatting the citations, do you mean within MS Word or in Endnote? I tried to google what you meant and I found this webpage:

Is that what you meant?

If that’s the case, I think I might be able to guess the problem. I tried clicking, in Word’s Endnote X7 tab, Convert Citations and Bibliography->Convert to Unformatted Citations (is this unformatting?), but it didn’t really do anything. I suspect that’s because my reference list at the end is basically already plaintext, which it’s trying to convert to.

Then I did, within Endnote, Tools->Cite While You Write->Format Bibliography. When I do this, a window pops up in Word with the title “Endnote X7 Configure Bibliography”, where I can choose an output style, temporary delimiters, etc. When I hit OK, it seems like the first time, it tries to get me to choose references for the various numbered citations I have throughout the text (like a [5], I mean); I think it’s essentially trying to do the Update Citations and Bibliography thing.

I’m still a little lost… Any help would be greatly valued, thank you.

It is not clear to me if the document itself has the endnote fields in it, or you just have a document with numbers and the bibliography with  the  corresponding numbers and so is out of order.  If the former, than using the word options to “convert to unformated citations” on the endnote toolbar would be the next step but I don’t think you have that option.   You have plaintext citations, so nothing to unformat. 

If the later (which I suspect if you did recovered by doing it all by hand), then my suggestion would be to drag the records from your library into a new library in the order of their numbering in the document (not the order they appear) which will assign them “record numbers” matching the intext citations you have now.  – be very very careful to maintain those numbers as the record numbers – you should display record numbers in your library display to make sure they correspond.   

– And then to go thru the document and convert the numbers from [5]  into {#5} etc  these curly bracketed citations are “unformatted” or “temporary” citations in the word document.     – remembering that  numbered grouped citations like [5-7] would need to be converted to {#5; #6; #7}  (separated by semi-colons).  If you are using a numbered style, you should then be able to “update the citations and bibliograph” in the document and it will reorder them correctly by appearance or alphabetically which ever your chosen publisher requires.  

The other option is going thru and deleting the numbers you have now, and inserting them again from your endnote library, one by one in the document.   

Hi, thanks for the reply. I’m pretty sure my document had no Endnote fields in it, and was entirely plaintext. I was hoping Endnote would somehow be able to take the plaintext references (at the end), look at my library, then replace the citations in the text with the right ones to correspond to the remaining references there are in the new manuscript, or something. But I expected it to be a long shot, so it’s okay.

I ended up just deleting my old reference list (the plaintext), and going through the manuscript and inserting citations where I had them marked from the old manuscript (again, plaintext). It wasn’t too bad, took about half an hour.

thank you!