Importing research material using EndNote XML file type

EndNote is a proprietary product of Thomson Reuters. These notes explain how we have mapped Endnote data to ComWriter using Endnote XML file format.


Preparing your data file in Endnote

  • Make sure you select everything in the library rather than an individual reference
  • Export from any of the following software solutions: Endnote, Zotero, Mendeley, Papers, WOK, using the file type Endnote XML 


To import research data:

1. Click on the research tab

2. 'View' is the default on the navigation pane for this page

3. Your default style guide will display here. 

4. Click on the 'Import resources' button and import page will open



Next, on the left-hand side of the Research tab, projects and collections are listed:

5. Select the source of your data

6. Select the file type

7. Decide if you want the data added to a project or collection, by clicking the relevant radio button and selecting the relevant project name or collection name. The default is to add to the collection 'Recently imported'. If you wish to simply 'add to research material' in general, then ensure that both the Project and Collection check marks are unticked. 

8. Drag and drop the file onto the 'File to import' box or select the 'Upload File button to select the file name from your finder

9. If you wish to also import Pdf documents with the reference records you can add the files to the attachments. Note that the attachment file name must be contained in the data file. Generally, when you export data from a bibliographic tool, there is an option to export the attachments as well. This will ensure that the data names are correct.

10. When all files have been added, click on the 'Import Resources' button to commence the upload process



Things to note:

  • If the upload has been successful, a message will appear advising how may records were added to your research material.
  • If there is an import errors, the entire file will be rejected. This provides you with the opportunity to fix the data in your source program first and then import a clean file
  • DO NOT RE-IMPORT THE FILE; this will cause duplicates; i.e., we do not check for duplicates



Import errors:

  • Text can sometimes exceed our limits; for example, one note I came across in my EndNote file seemed to include the entire article. These might need to be examined. 
  • Medium needs to comply with our drop list. These records may need to be edited before importing will be successful. 
  • Date. If the date contains text (e.g. 2008//Spring), we map the text to 'Volume Month Or Season'; otherwise, we report it as an error. If it is an error, you need to decide if you want the data or not. It will need to be deleted or moved into a text field before the import will be successful (e.g., move it to Notes)
  • We cannot import files attached to EndNote, because Endnote does not export them


Data excluded:

There are a few data fields we have decided not to import:

  • All: Translated Author (We have not yet implemented translation processes)
  • All: Last modified date (Source software specific)
  • All: Last update date (Source software specific)
  • Name of file (We can't bring the file because it is not exported)
  • Film or Broadcast: Series Director, Credits (We have nowhere to put this and want to avoid any confusion with Director, Performers)
  • Caption (We don't bring the image, so we don't need the caption) 
  • Personal communication: sender & recipient e-mail
  • Grant: contact fax & phone
  • Reviewed item: this data field is not exported


Import corrections:

We have made the following automated corrections to the data:

  • Any full stop at the end of Title has been removed
  • Date, if a non-valid date (e.g., 2008///Spring) is detected we have placed the text in 'Volume Month Or Season', as this appears to be what the data represents
  • Pages: Endnote stores page numbers as 123-45, where as ComWriter stores the From/To separately. We have split the data and 'repaired' any missing lead digits; e.g. 123-45 loads as Page from =123, Page to = 145
  • Number of pages : sometimes Endnote stores text with the numbers, e.g., 1/8p. So we have stripped the text off, and grabbed the largest digit/s; e.g., 8, and used that as the 'Number of pages'
  • Start Page : because we store pages as 'Page From' and 'Page To', we haven't needed to bring Start Page across
  • ISSN/ISBN : Endnote stores several numbers, ComWriter only stores one. We have, therefore, imported the first entry only
  • Data imported into endNote from from PubMed has several errors that we have corrected:
    • The author names in Endnote are initials, and the full names have been dumped in the Notes; so we have scanned the Notes and brought the full names into ComWriter. The Style determines if the output should be initials only. 
    • NIHMSID & PMCID are stored as separate data fields in Endnote on several reference types. A PMCID replaces a NIHMSID, so there is no need to store both. Also, for non-medical references these are not required. We have imported this data as a Database Identifier thus : PMCID: 12345, or NIHMSID: 456789. We ignore NIHMSID if a PMCID exits. Note that we have also added the prefix PMCID/NIHMSID as this is a requirement of those databases. 
    • For PubMed entires, Endnote tends to stores the Abbreviated Journal as the Journal, and the full Journal name as the Alternate Journal. We have swapped these so that the Alternate journal is stored as the 'Journal' title and the Journal is stored as the 'Abbreviated Journal'. 
  • The Endnote reference type 'Generic' has forced us to create a generic style in ComWriter to accommodate this 'unknown' reference type. ComWriter's Generic resource type has all the possible data fields available in ComWriter. Please note that we do not include any generic resource types in our Styles. Make sure you review all 'Generic' imports and change their Resource Type / Format designation. 
  • Electronic Book has been imported as Book / Authored, with the source set to online
  • Electronic Book Section has been imported as Book / Section or chapter in book, with the source set to online
  • Electronic Article has been imported as Journal Material / Journal Article, with the source set to online


Post Import Check:

All imported resources will be added to the resource Group = 'Recently imported'. It is recommended that you Export this group as a Bibliography, in your preferred style, and take a look at the data to determine any necessary corrections. For example, Endnote has a limited range of reference types, whereas ComWriter has a broad range. As such, you will need to review imported data to determine if any resource/s need to be changed to a different Type or Format. Here are some examples:

  • Book / Book Section / Electronic Book / Electronic Book Section : Review all imported 'Book' references and determine if they have been set to the correct Type / Format. For example, Endnote does not have Book volume, or Section in book volume
  • Thesis: Endnote only has one reference type, where as ComWriter has two (thesis & dissertation). Review imports to check if a change is required
  • Conference Paper / Conference Proceedings : ComWriter has four types, including symposia
  • Patent : ComWriter differentiates between patents that have been granted and those under application
  • Blog: we have a drop list to differentiate the type of blog. This needs to be added

A full list of the mapping arrangement is noted below.



  • You can search for resources using 'endnote', 'zotero', 'mendeley', 'papers', 'WOK' and the resources that have come from this source will be displayed as we store 'source' as system-source data on each record.
  • If ComWriter appears to have 'lost' some data, change the resource Type to Generic/All and take a look; otherwise go back to your source software and examine the entry
  • You can search your ComWriter resources for references imported from 'Endnote', 'Mendeley', 'Zotero', 'Papers, 'WOK'



Endnote XML ComWriter ComWriter
Reference Type Resource type Resource format
Aggregated Database Dataset Data series
Ancient text Creative work Ancient text
Artwork Creative work Artwork
Audiovisual Material Video or audio Video
Bill Legislative material Bill or resolution
Blog Internet material Blog, forum or social media post
Book Book Authored book
Book Section Book Section or chapter in book
Case Legal case or decision Legal case - reported
Catalog Dataset Catalogue
Chart or Table Image Table
Classical Work Book Classic work
Computer Program Software & equipment Software program
Conference Paper Conference material Section in conference proceedings
Conference Proceedings Conference material Conference proceedings
Dataset Dataset Data series
Dictionary Book Dictionary entry
Edited Book Book Edited book
Electronic Article Journal material Journal article
Electronic Book Book Authored book
Electronic Book Section Book Section or chapter in book
Encyclopaedia Book Encyclopaedia entry
Equation Image Equation
Figure Image Figure
Film or Broadcast Video or audio Film or movie
Generic Generic All
Government Document Report or plan Government report
Grant Technical Grant application
Hearing Legal case or decision Transcript or submission
Interview Communication Interview
Journal Article Journal material Journal article
Legal Rule or Regulation Legislative material Regulation
Magazine Article Article Magazine article
Manuscript Creative work Manuscript - creative work
Map Image Map
Newspaper Article Article Newspaper article
Online Database Dataset Data series
Online Multimedia Video or audio Podcast or webinar
Pamphlet Communication Brochure or marketing material
Patent Technical Patent granted
Personal Communication Communication Email, Fax, Letter or Memo
Podcast Video or audio Podcast or webinar
Report Report or plan General report
Serial Video or audio Television program
Standard Technical Standard
Statute Legislative material Act or Statute
Thesis Thesis or dissertation Dissertation
Unpublished Manuscript Article Unpublished manuscript
Web Page Internet material Web or wiki page
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