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EndNote provides you with the possibility to share the library with other people. You may even decide to read/write access for every person you share with.
Never share an EndNote library via a Cloud service or in any place/folder synced to iCloud or other cloud/backup service. EndNote, iCloud, Sync and storage location
The reason is that EndNote saves information in multiple files in a specific sequence. Cloud services usually use a different sequence to favour the syncing speed. This will lead to the corruption of the EndNote library.
This includes the following Cloud services but is not limited to only them:
- Google Drive
- Office 365
- Onedrive, SkyDrive
- Sugar sync
- Amazon Cloud
- or, e.g. a USB memory
EndNote's share functionality (starting from version X9)
By creating and syncing a library with your EndNoteOnline account, you can share the library with 1000 colleagues (with version 21). An EndNote account is included in your EndNote license.
How to share your library
You must have an EndNote Online/web premium account (see this article How to create an account, or connect to, or elevate your EndNoteOnline to premium)!
- EndNote: File > Share...
- Enter the email addresses of the ones you want to share the library with and specify Read/Write permissions.
- Add a message (optional) and click the Invite button.
Everybody can see and use attachments (PDFs). You decide on read/write access for every user. And of course, everybody can use the library in their own, or shared documents.
You can see who you have invited to share the library with, remind people who have not accepted it or remove people from accessing the library via the EndNote: File > Share library feature.
Everyone you share the library with (enter email in EndNote: File > Share library) will get an email invite they will have to confirm.
When they open the shared library (EndNote: File > Open shared library > Choose your library/email), it will be downloaded to their computer and sync all changes. Where is the shared library stored?
Your colleagues can open the library on their computer as it is a local library and work normally within EndNote.
Use the Traveling Library
Every time a reference is formatted in Word by EndNote, the primary information about the reference is saved in the Word document. The data is saved as hidden field codes, meaning the user (user A) does not see this information.
When the document is sent to another user (user B), this hidden reference information travels with the document. This means that user B does not need access to user A´s original references.
User B can add new references and format the document. The information for the new references is collected from user B´s library, and the information for the already present references (from user A) is collected from the hidden field codes.
These hidden field codes are called ”the Traveling Library” since they ”travel” with the document.
If you choose to remove the formatting in the document (“Unformat Citations”), all the hidden field codes are deleted (i.e. the travelling library is deleted). When user B tries to format the document again, none of user A´s references will be found and formatted. EndNote will then ask user B to add these missing references again.
Share a group in your library.
You can create groups in your library and sort your references into groups.
By syncing the library with your EndNoteOnline account, you can share a specific group with colleagues (an EndNote account is included in your EndNote license).
How to share a group
- Click on the Organize tab
- Click on Manage My Groups
- Click the box next to the Group you want to share
- Click on Manage Sharing
- Click on Start sharing this group
- Enter the email addresses of the EndNote Online users that you want to share your group with
- Select Read-only or Read & Write (allow others to edit and add references to the group)
- Click on Apply
Shared groups will appear in Groups Shared by Others (My References tab). No invitation emails are sent; they just need to create or have an EndNote online account and log in to view the group: the-new-endnote-web.
The library owner decides who gets read and/or write access to the group references. You can share a group in this way with 5000 users.
So that you know, attached files (PDFs) cannot be shared between users. You can, instead, e.g. add a link to the attached files and place/share the files via Dropbox.
If two people edit the same reference simultaneously, the last edition is saved.
Note: (Unlike EndNote Desktop, EndNote Online does not support group sets or smart groups so that the custom groups will display alphabetically)
Centrally located library
You can place the library on a network drive if you want many people to access the complete library, including the attached files (PDFs). Everybody then has EndNote installed locally, but open and work against the centrally located library.
EndNote typically only allows one person at a time to open a library, so the centrally located library needs to be in read-only mode. In this mode, an unlimited number of users with read-rights can simultaneously open and use the library.
Every user can use all functions in EndNote except for editing existing or creating new references.
Note that typically one, or a few, persons have admin rights to the library (read & write access). These admins have a master copy of the library on their computer and update the library. A copy of the master library is placed centrally.
Send the library
An EndNote library consists of two units: a file and a folder. The two units mean you cannot email a library as you cannot email a folder.
To simplify for the user, EndNote has a compression functionality that compresses the entire library, including any attached files, into a single file. This file can then be distributed to the users in several ways.
The user opens the compressed library like a normal library, and EndNote then uncompressed it.
Just so you know, every user first gets a library copy, but no syncing is active between the copies. This means that as soon as a user starts using the library, that copy stops being a copy and is a unique library.