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EndNote 20 Guide

Collaborating in EndNote Online

Sharing a Group of References

You can use the EndNote Groups function to share a particular group of references with up to 99 other people. Each of those people will need to have their own EndNote Online account.

Please see our Managing Your Library page for instructions on how to create a group of references. Once a group has been created, you can share it.

  • In EndNote Desktop, right click on the group you wish to share 
  • Click ‘Share group’
  • Add email addresses for those with whom you want to share the group. These email addresses must be linked to their EndNote Online accounts.
  • Change the permission to ‘Read Only’ 
  • Click 'Invite’ and close the window
  • The invited users will see the shared groups under ‘Groups shared by others’ (in EndNote Desktop) and Organize > Others’ Groups (in EndNote Online) 
  • Once this is done, you can edit, add or remove emails, or adjust access privileges, by going back into the ‘Share group’ window 

Please note that this function does not share PDFs for copyright reasons. 

Bulk uploading email addresses

While the EndNote Desktop interface is more user-friendly, you can also share groups directly from EndNote Online. This alternate method allows you to bulk upload email addresses if necessary.

  • In EndNote online select 'Organize' and 'Manage My Groups'
  • Tick the share box and click the 'Manage Sharing' button, then click 'Start Sharing This Group'
  • A screen will pop up that will allow you to upload a text file with multiple email addresses, separated by a comma. 
  • Select the 'Read Only' button 
  • Click Apply and close the window

Sharing your Whole Library

With EndNote 20, you can also easily share a Read Only copy of your entire EndNote library. You can share your library this way with up to 99 other people and their shared versions of your library will update as you update your library.

Unlike sharing groups, sharing libraries does not require the other users to have EndNote Online. 

Note that this method will share all attached PDFs, which may put you in breach of copyright. For more about copyright, please see Copyright Advice guide on the library website: 


  • In EndNote Desktop, go to File > Share
  • Enter the email addresses of the people with whom you will be sharing, separated by commas
  • Next to permission select ‘Read Only’
  • Click Invite then close 

Note: The READ ONLY permission for sharing libraries in this way is only available with EndNote X9 and later. It is not available with EndNote X8 or earlier; sharing libraries with those versions of EndNote will grant all shared users Read & Write permission.

Collaborating on a Group of References

This is the same process as sharing using EndNote Groups, except that you will need to choose the ‘Read & Write’ option when adding in your collaborators’ email addresses.

Collaborating on a Whole Library

As with sharing, you can also collaborate using your whole library. This will give all users read and write permissions.

This is the same process as sharing your whole library, except that you will need to choose the ‘Read & Write’ option when adding in your collaborators’ email addresses.

Some things to be aware of before collaborating with your whole library:

  • Once set up, all group members can add, edit, and delete any references or groups, including permanently deleting references and groups from your desktop library. Because of this you should back up the library frequently (to USB, external hard drive etc.). The only change group members can’t make is renaming the library 
  • PDFs are automatically shared, so be aware of copyright and licensing restrictions: 
  • Only the person who shared the library should back up the shared library
  • Once this is done, you can edit, add or remove emails, or adjust access privileges, by clicking on the Share Library button again 

Once others have started working with your library, you can see the last 500 changes made to it by clicking the ‘Activity Feed’ button