Throughout your systematic review it is crucial that you keep accurate records, including the databases you have searched, the search dates, the results found, the search terms you have used, etc.
EndNote is a reference management package which is widely used to help with storing and organizing search results for systematic reviews. It is freely available for Queen's staff and students, via the university’s subscription. Alternative products are available but they are not supported by the Library at Queen’s.
EndNote has two different versions – a desktop and a web-based version. Both are freely available to the University's staff and students, but the web-based version lacks some of the more complex features which are often required for systematic reviews, so this guide focuses on the desktop version.
Other bibliographic management systems exist and some funding bodies specify which can be used. The Library at Queen's supports EndNote and is unable to assist with others.
To obtain your copy of EndNote, use the links below. Please follow the installation instructions closely, as some steps can be counter intuitive. If you are asked for a "product key", this indicates that the installation files were not unzipped/extracted correctly. If this happens, please repeat the installation process, closely following the instructions provided.
Back your EndNote Library up periodically and especially before you make any major changes.
EndNote libraries cannot be stored on a network drive or in cloud-syncing folders (e.g. Dropbox, OneDrive, SharePoint, Google Drive, iCloud. etc), as this will cause libraries to become corrupted. Further guidance on using cloud-based storage is available from Clarivate, the makers for EndNote
Important information for Mac users: An EndNote library which is stored in iCloud, even when stored on both the hard drive and online, is subject to corruption over time. If you store your documents in iCloud, consider creating a separate folder in your home folder and saving your EndNote library there.
There are different approaches you can take to organizing and managing references in EndNote. Below is a description of some EndNote features which may be helpful for your systematic review.
Downloading records from databases
Most academic databases enable you to export references to EndNote. Depending on the size of your results set, you may need to export references in several batches.
If you experience difficulties when exporting references from Ovid databases, such as MEDLINE, EMBASE or PsycINFO, check this help page.
Organizing references into groups
You can use groups and group sets to organize your references. For instance you can: