Unable to import into endnote X4 from ovid medline or embase


I can’t import into my newly updated endnote X4 from ovid medline or ovid embase. The endnote program is inconsistent in whether it lets me select a filter for it to use. I have recently updated the filters with Ovid SP_ medline and Ovid SP_Embase. Sometimes it lets me chose a filter, other times it thinks it’s using the generic import endnote filter. I have also tried downloading 1000 citations into a .txt file and saving then importing, but endnote won’t import it even when I give it the filter. This is really very frustrating!

All suggestions gratefully received.


Hard to say from your description but could you clarify how you’re selectting and using the filters? There’s also atrainiing video on importing text files (the EndNote Channel, YouTube).

Generally when working wih filters the process entails:

  1. Pre-selecting the filter. [Go to the EndNote toolbar, select EDIT, IMPORT FILTERS, OPEN IMPORT FILTERS MANAGER. Then scroll through the list to locate the desired filter then click the box which “checks” the selection.Close the dialog box.] 

  2. Designating the filter to be used for the import process. [Go to the EndNote toolbar, select FILE, IMPORT, FILE. This will cause the “Import File” dialog box to appear on screen. Besides choosing the file to be imported, you will also need o designate the “Import Option”* by selecting the filter (click the pull-down menu to see the list - also refer to Note below ).

Also if your 1,000 citations .txt file isn’t being imported it may indicate other problems such as incorrect “tags” in the .txt file or import filter. Could you provide a small sample (e.g., 2 records) from the .txt file?


Note: The “Import Option” pull down menu also includes the option “Other Filters” so if preferred you could omit pre-selecting a filter (described in step #1).

Hi thanks,

Yes that’s how I was selecting the filters - firstly by pre-selecting using the filter manager, but it didn’t work. However, last night some told me that if you rename the filter as AAmedline on the computer so that it goes to the top of the list it will work. And it did - after delving round the computer’s hard drive to find the filters to rename I did that and then was able to import references 1000 at a time from medline.

My problem now is embase, despite renaming the filter as AAembase - so that it goes above the medline filter the maximum I’ve been able to import so far is 300. This may be due to some limitation at the ovid end. However, it’s going to take me a very long time to import 17000 citations - so further advice would be helpful!



It’s very odd having to rename the filter to change it’s alphabetical sort order in order to select it. How many filters are in your Filter folder?  You might try removing most of the unused filters to a different folder and just keep a small number of the filter files to see if that improves the selection process.

BTW, did you upgrade your EndNote X4 program with the patch to X4.0.2?  The patch includes assorted fixes including updates to filters. For info and downloading info on the patch go to: http://www.endnote.com/support/ENX401_Win_updater.asp

As for Embase could you provide 2 records from the .txt file so as to enable checking the tags against those in the filter?

I managed to import them 1000 at a time from OVID - wonder if part of the problem is the amount of web traffic. When it’s quieter in the morning seems to be better.

Thanks Su