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EndNote at QMU: Introduction to EndNote

About EndNote

There are two ways of using EndNote: 

EndNote Online is the web version of EndNote Desktop. It is an online citation management application that can help organize research material into your own online mini database.

EndNote Desktop is a software program that: Creates, stores and manages your references and citations, saves your selected references and citations from online resources, and inserts references and citations from your EndNote Desktop library into your Microsoft Word document, and automatically creates a bibliography, so you do not have to manually do so yourself. The current version is EndNote 21.

What is EndNote?

EndNote logo

What is EndNote?

EndNote is reference management software designed to make your academic life a little easier by allowing you to build a collection of references for your research. It can help take the stress out of referencing properly, helping you organise your lists of references and create bibliographies. It allows you to :

  • Find and import references downloaded from library catalogues and databases directly into your own personal EndNote library
  • Store, organise and search for references in your EndNote library
  • Add citations to your word-processed document and create your bibliography in a number of citation styles

Why use EndNote?

  • You need to provide accurate references to all the sources you use to avoid plagiarism - EndNote makes this easier!
  • Using EndNote ensures you cite your references in the correct style for your School or purpose

EndNote 21

EndNote 21 for Windows is available for QMU staff and students to download for free. For more information see the Clarivate EndNote LibGuide and their EndNote video collection on YouTube. For instructions on how to download and install EndNote see the Getting Started tab.

Installation and product keys

To install EndNote 21 (the desktop app):

  1. Download the Windows Installer or Mac Installer
  2. If prompted, enter the product key (if you are not prompted, the key is already installed) - you can get the product key by emailing Helpdesk
  3. Register your use of the product key by completing EndNote verification: (please use your QMU email address)

Which version of EndNote should I use?

Both EndNote Online and EndNote desktop are free for QMU staff and students.

EndNote Online should offer enough functionality for undergraduates and taught postgraduates. It is cloud based so you can use it from anywhere. You can continue to use it after you leave QMU: you will have an EndNote basic account which has a smaller number of styles. You just need to change your email address to a personal email address within EndNote Online. You can sync between EndNote Online and EndNote desktop so the same references will be in both.

EndNote Desktop offers greater functionality for research postgraduates and staff though all staff and students can use it. You download the software so this will require space on your computer. If you leave QMU, you will need to purchase a copy or remove it from your machine.

EndNote Basic can be used after you graduate and is a limited online version. 

How to use EndNote

See the Clarivate website for a range of training materials on how to use EndNote.

EndNote site

Registering for an EndNote account

If you install EndNote 21 you can connect that license with your EndNote Online basic account, whether you have an existing account or create a new account. This connection, in turn, will elevate the EndNote Online account to an EndNoteOnline premium account with e.g. no size limitation.

To create (new), upgrade (free/Basic to Premium) or extend (period) an EndNoteOnline Premium account, open your EndNote (desktop) and choose:

  • on Windows; EndNote: Edit > Preferences > Sync > Enable sync > Sign up
  • on Mac;         EndNote: EndNote > Preferences > Sync > Enable sync > Sign up


For help with using EndNote please email, who will put you in touch with the right librarian.


This guide has been adapted with kind permission, from the University of Strathclyde EndNote Libguide.