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EndNote 20 & 21: Citation Management: Home

EndNote 20 & 21

Citation management tools will help you create bibliographies and also insert your citations in your paper.  First, you must identify those items that you think you will use in your paper by search databases, UC Library Search, or even Google Scholar and adding it to your account.  If you will use more than 12 references, experience says you will save time by using a citation management tool.

EndNote, sometimes called EndNote Desktop, is one of the most popular citation managers used at UC San Diego. It has more features than EndNote Online. However, unlike EndNote Online, Zotero, and Mendeley, EndNote Desktop is not free free. There is no campus license, but we do offer instruction sessions and consultations on using EndNote.

The latest version is EndNote 21, but this guide applies to EndNote 20 as well.


  • Is PC and Mac friendly
  • Pulls in references from Library catalogs (e.g. UC Library Search) or from databases (Web of Science, PubMed, JSTOR, etc.) to help you build your reference library.
  • Locates full-text PDF files from the references, and creates references when importing PDF files. You can also annotate your PDFs.
  • Allows you to group references based on research projects
  • Works with MS Word and other word processors to properly insert references and format the bibliography or works cited list.
  • Allows you to share references with other EndNote users.
  • Syncs between EndNote, EndNote Online, and EndNote for iPad/iPhone

UC San Diego (campuswide or through the Library) does not have a license for EndNote Desktop.

  • EndNote 21 can be purchased through On The Hub.
    • If you're upgrading from EndNote X8, X9, or EndNote 20 - $112 for all academic users
    • If you're a new EndNote user - $246 for faculty/staff, $134 for students
  • It can also be purchased through the campus bookstore or directly from EndNote.
  • If you're in a research group, check first to see if there's an available copy.

Once you have installed EndNote, you can sign up for an account to sync references between EndNote 21 and EndNote Online

  1. If you have a Web of Science account or have previously used EndNote Online, you can use that same login for EndNote 21.
  2. To create an account, go to on a UCSD-connected computer (including VPN).
  3. To access the new EndNote online that's exclusive to EndNote 21 users, go to and login.

Connect your EndNote Online/Web of Science account to EndNote 21

  • Go to Edit >> Preferences >> Sync to connect EndNote 21

Stick with EndNote 20 or X9, or upgrade to EndNote 21?

Released in June 2023, EndNote 21 is similar to EndNote 20, but includes these new features:

  • The ability to tag references in your library. You can create up to 7, color-coded tags and access those lists the way you can now with My Groups.
  • Native integration of Cite While You Write in Google Docs (though we are not sure yet if that includes your UCSD Google accounts)
  • Enhanced recovery and restoration options if your library is corrupted by using your EndNote online account
  • Versioning for individual references. Compare versions with the option to restore an earlier one.
  • Library sharing teams expanded to 1,000.
  • Exclusive access to the new EndNote Web at .

If you compare the features between the 3 versions, you'll see that EndNote 20 and 21 are more similar than EndNote 20 and EndNote X9. .