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EndNote: reference management software for staff

EndNote Library files and folders

When you first start using EndNote Desktop you need to create and save Library.

Your EndNote library will be stored in library file (.enl) and a data folder (.data).  For example, for a library called "Health screening"  there will be a "healthscreening.enl" file and a "" folder containing files associated with your library. 

These two parts must be kept together - both are needed for your library to work correctly.

We advise you to make regular backups of these files and folders (see below).  It is best to do this every time you have made changes to your library.

Please read the information below about saving and backing up your library.

Saving your EndNote Desktop library

When you first create a library in EndNote Desktop, you can choose where you save it.  Clarivate Analytics (the makers of EndNote) advise there is a risk that your library may become corrupted if stored on a network drive.  

Clarivate also advise that EndNote is not compatible with cloud storage such as DropBox or GoogleDrive.

"Keep EndNote libraries on your computer's local hard drive. Storing and editing libraries on a network drive can lead to corruption and performance issues. EndNote libraries should never be stored in cloud-syncing folders such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, SugarSync, etc. Syncing folders corrupt EndNote libraries over time 

Storing on your computer's hard drive, portable hard drive or similar offers no automatic backup should the drive become damaged or lost or if there is a problem with your library files.  It is therefore important to make backups (see below).

Backing up your EndNote Library

Wherever you choose to save your library, we strongly advise you to regularly create a backup of your library as described below.

The best way to backup all of the files and folders relating to your library is to create a compressed library.

To create a compressed library (backup):

  • open the library you wish to backup
  • go to the "File" menu and click on the option: "Compressed Library (.enlx)…" 
  • Follow the instructions to save this backup in a suitable location (an alternative drive is recommended).