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I exported citation from EndNote and they don't work. Why is that?

@article{Fox, TA-1991-97,
   author = {Fox, TA},
   title = {Wake characteristics of two circular cylinders arranged perpendicular to each other},
   journal = {Journal of fluids engineering},
   volume = {113},
   number = {1},
   pages = {45-50},
   ISSN = {0098-2202},
   year = {1991},
   type = {Journal Article}
}
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  • 1
    What you've posted is an entry in the .bib file. The first field is the unique key that identifies each entry. It cannot contain spaces or commas. Is your question about how to format the key when it is typeset?
    – Alan Munn
    Nov 20, 2013 at 5:14
  • @AlanMunn Thanks, my way is export endnote into bibtex, and when exporting, I use author_year to the label, (and there is some comma in it)so I need to change the format,right? Nov 20, 2013 at 5:32
  • 1
    Probably. I don't know much about EndNote's export function. But if you can specify the key format, then something just involving just letters and numbers and a few other characters would be best. The following characters are disallowed: " "@',\#}{~% and you also shouldn't use &^$ (the underscore _ character can also cause problems.)
    – Alan Munn
    Nov 20, 2013 at 5:55
  • @AlanMunn You should convert this to an answer.
    – masu
    Nov 20, 2013 at 8:41

5 Answers 5

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When exporting citations from other bibliography managers, you need to be able to generate legal cite keys for bibtex. If you can specify the key format, then something just involving just letters and numbers and a few other characters would be best.

The following characters are disallowed:

     " "@',\#}{~% 

and you also shouldn't use &^$ (the underscore _ character can also cause problems.)

1
  • Thanks, @AlanMunn I know the reason and then I find other way to put the label not including the comma, thanks Nov 21, 2013 at 4:51
5

If you have a lot of references or just loath doing manual repetitive labor, JabRef can be quite helpful for properly formatting from EndNote to BibTeX.

If you don't already have it, you will need the Endnote to BibTeX style (available here). Just download that file and double click on it to install it (it should open with EndNote). Then in the library you want to export, go to File > Export, then choose Text Only and BibTeX Export. That will save a .txt file.

Once you have that .txt file, open up JabRef, and go to File > Import into new database, then select the file you exported from EndNote. This will load your library into JabRef.

JabRef can then automatically create citation keys for all your entries if you go to Tools > Autogenerate BibTeX keys. The default format is Lastnameyear (Smith2013), but it can be edited in Options > Preferences > BibTex key generator by changing the key pattern using the terms here. For example, you can make the keys appear as smith13 by changing the pattern to [auth:lower][shortyear].

Once you have your data as you like it, save it as a .bib file that can be referenced as needed when compiling your document.

Unfortunately, special characters tend not to export well from EndNote to text format, which can be an issue if you're in a field such as chemistry with lots of special characters in titles. You will most likely need to manually check for errors with special character and format them as plain text or as something recognized by LaTeX. Additionally, if you need special capitalization exceptions (again, common in chemistry for oxidation states and chemical formulas), {} need to be added around the text to tell BibTeX to hold the capitalization of that text. It is not recommended to place braces around the whole titles as that can cause inconsistencies in the capitalization.

See this wikibooks entry for general notes on LaTeX bibliographies and their implementation.

Note, there are other bibliography managers useful for BibTeX but I found JabRef to import the poorly formatted export of EndNote well (unlike BibDesk which failed to import my exported library), and the automatic key generation was extremely helpful. Some other possible software choices are list in the wikibooks entry here

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  • Regarding BibDesk, specifically, see my answer here on how to import EndNote's syntactically invalid BibTeX. If you had a failure, I hope that you reported it so we could improve BibDesk. Sep 15, 2014 at 2:03
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This short awk command assigns unique Bibtex labels in numerical order to an endnote file that has been exported as BibTex without unique labels.

awk 'BEGIN{c=1}{if($1~/^@/){c++}; gsub("{", "{REF:"c",", $1)}' Endnote.bib > EndnoteCorrect.bib 
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I've created a plugin for Endnote that will generate BibTeX labels and is compatible with the built in Endnote BibTeX output style.

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Above awk script did not work for me (MacOS). I slightly modified as follows:

awk 'BEGIN{c=1}{if($1~/^@/){c++; gsub("{", "{REF:"c",", $1)};print}' Endnote.bib > EndnoteCorrect.bib 

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