Migrating from Sente 6 to Endnote 7 without loosing refs

Dear Endnote users,

Since yesterday I’m trying to migrate from Sente 6 to Endnote X7. So far I tryed to export the Sente library in Endnote X (.xml), and Bibtex using Sente export options, or just import directly the file containing all the pdf in Endnote.

Nothing is really working, only 1/3 references comes into Endnote i.e 3000 on the total 9000 references I have.

What is the best way to do that? Is there somebody who has done it with sucess?

I work with a macbook pro late 2013 and OSX 10.9.5.

Thank you,


It might be a number of things: file size, corrupted record(s), mis-match with Endnote reference types. You might consider pre-sorting your Sente 6 library by reference types then exporting them into multiple files (instead of one big file). Presorting may help troubleshoot if the problem lies with mis-matching of the Endnote reference types. Another way of checking is to export the Sente 6 library as an .RIS file (if there’s an option to do so) to enable checking the records and tags.

Thank you for your prompt reply!

Your answer partly solved the problem. I only lost 10%. I’m trying to export numerous endnote.xml file because I think the problem is kind of related to importing > 1000 refs. PDF are not attached however I guess I will have to do it manually.


It might be interesting to see whether the records which failed to import had something in common or whether it’s just an anomaly. If you have the time and inclination, you might try identifying the failed records then generate the .xml file (s) in Sente 6 and try importing them into Endnote and see what happens.

Since you mentioned your PDFs were not attached/included in the exported .xml file, instead of manually attaching them to individual records you might consider an alternative method. The alternative is if the PDFs  are full-text  journal articles  having a DOI you could use Endnote’s “Auto Import” function to automatically import the PDFs into Endnote and the program will create a corresponding complete Endnote record in the library with a PDF attachment. PDF(s) without metadata will generate only a partial Endnote record that contains just the PDF attachment.  [Refer to the Endnote training video  “PDF Auto Import Folder”.] 

You could then copy the “complete” Endnote records into your main library then use Endnote’s “Find Duplicate” function to locate the Endnote record resulting from the .xml file and the duplicate resulting from importing the PDF - then you just select the record you want to keep and discard the other. This process may be quicker than trying to manually attach individual PDFs.

Thank you for this useful tips.

If I export my references from Sente as  Endonte xml data, each imported reference within endnote contains an url to the pdf file stored at my mac. Is there any chance, that Endnote could import the pdf and attach it to the reference with this url?

@gordonpym wrote:

…If I export my references from Sente as  Endonte xml data, …any chance, that Endnote could import the pdf and attach it to the reference with this url?



Possibly. You can test this by selecting a small number of Sente records having URLs and PDFs then exporting them as an Endnote compatible .XML file. Then import the .XML file into a new Endnote library and check if the URL and PDF is included with the Endnote record.

I did that and the imported reference within Endnote contains a link to the pdf file at my computer, but the pdf file itself is not attached to the endnote reference. I like to have it attached for editing etc. Could Endnote somehow add this pdf as an attachement automatically?

@gordonpym wrote:
…Could Endnote somehow add this pdf as an attachement automatically?

Unfortunately no. You will need to manually attach the PDFs.

An alternative method with limited application might be to use Endnote’s auto import function to import the PDFs which in turn will 1) create an Endnote record, and 2) automatically attach the PDF (providing the PDF has metadata to enable creating the Endnote record). PDFs that don’t have the metadata would generate incomplete Endnote records.