Importing from EndNote

Citavi can import libraries from EndNote version 8 and later. Databases created with an older version of EndNote first need to be exported from EndNote in RIS format. You can then import the .ris file into your Citavi project.


You may find that Citavi appears to import more references than expected. For example, you might import an EndNote library with 98 references and find 115 in Citavi. This is not an error, but a difference in how Citavi stores related references. Citavi differentiates between parent and child references and divides references with the EndNote reference type "Chapter" into two different reference types (for example, Contribution in an Edited book and Edited book).
Some reference types (for example, Hearing) are not available in Citavi. Any references without a corresponding reference type will be be given the Unknown reference type.
Groups in current EndNote versions cannot be fully imported in Citavi 5.
As a precaution, we recommend repairing the EndNote library before importing it. To do so, start EndNote, but do not open any library. Then, on the Tools menu, click Recover Library. Select the EndNote library and click Open. EndNote repairs the library and saves it with a new name. Import this file into Citavi following the steps below.

  1. In the Reference Editor on the File menu, click Import.
  2. Select Another reference management program.
  3. Select EndNote, and then click Next.
  4. Select the EndNote library you want to import. If you are importing a database created with EndNote X or later, Citavi needs both the .enl file and the EndNote data folder. This folder has the same name as the EndNote library and the extension .data. The data folder does not need to be specified during the import, but it does need to have the same name as and be in the same folder as the .enl file.
  5. You can manually map the following EndNote fields to Citavi fields: Caption, Custom 1-8, Label, Section, Record Number and Reprint Edition.
  6. In the import window that appears, you can choose which references you want to import. To import all the references, click Add to project. To add specific references only, first select the corresponding checkboxes and then click Add to project.
  7. Select any appropriate import options.
  8. Click Add to project to complete the import.


If you want to import multiple EndNote libraries that have overlapping references, you may want to check for duplicates during the import process. To do so,  don't click Add to project in step 8. Instead, click Import again. On the next window, click Add to existing import. Select the next EndNote library for import. If duplicates are present, they will be shown with a yellow bar.