I have got a long list of references in Endnote X7 which I would like to use in Latex. I've tried exporting my bibliography from Endnote using the style "Bibtex Export". If I do so, every reference is categorised under a "RN" reference number:

   author = {Alper, Tikvah and Cramp, WA and Haig, David A and Clarke, Michael C},
   title = {Does the agent of scrapie replicate without nucleic acid?},
   journal = {Nature},
   volume = {214},
   number = {5090},
   pages = {764-766},
   ISSN = {1476-4687},
   year = {1967},
   type = {Journal Article}

I find this a bit inconvenient, as I can't tell which reference is which from looking at the Latex code. I'd prefer an entry name such as this one:

 author    = "Milton {Abramowitz} and Irene A. {Stegun}",
 title     = "Handbook of Mathematical Functions with
              Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables",

I've tried exporting the refs using "Bibtex Export using EN label field copy" in Endnote (a solution I found online). Now I have neither an RN nor an entry name:

   author = {Alper, Tikvah and Cramp, WA and Haig, David A and Clarke, Michael C},
   title = {Does the agent of scrapie replicate without nucleic acid?},
   journal = {Nature},

How do I export the references correctly?

Also, is there a convenient way to look up references in Texstudio? Right now I go through by Bibtex file and look for the ref I want, then insert the RN number manually like this: \parencite{RN1} . I'd like to search the reference list by author name or title, similarly to the Endnote look-up system in Word.

I'm using MiKteX, TeXstudio and Biber. I'm quite new to Latex so any suggestions or alternative approaches are welcome.

2 Answers 2


Apparently EndNote has no official interface to define the entry key for the .bib entries it generates. The automatically numbered RN... keys are quite suboptimal and go against the spirit of easily recognisable entry keys.

https://www.rhizobia.co.nz/latex/convert offers two EndNote exporters that apparently make it possible to specify stable entry keys that are preserved on export to .bib files (either via the existing LABEL field or via a CUSTOM1).

Frankly I believe that any software that seriously claims to export to the .bib file format should have an official interface to specify the entry key (and ideally even an interface to automatically generate such keys from entry data, for example from author names and year). Even more so if you or your institution pays good money for that software.

If you are not married to the idea of using EndNote you may want to look for alternative reference managers. Zotero seems to be a popular choice, it is open source and its .bib file export (at least with the popular Better BibTeX for Zotero) is very solid (and customisable). Citavi and Mendeley also offer .bib export (though sometimes the .bib files generated by those programs aren't as good as they could be). (Disclaimer: I have used none of these tools myself properly. I have Zotero installed on my machine for the occasional question on this site. I take most of my knowledge about these programs from questions on this site.)

If you are looking for a tool to modify .bib files directly, https://www.jabref.org/ is the obvious first candidate. For Mac there is https://bibdesk.sourceforge.io/. But in the end any text editor will do if you don't need the additional features these tools provide.


If anyone comes across this for Endnote 20:

Enter your citation key in the label field. Don't use any special characters ( I used authoryear ). (This field can be found under 'edit' in the right hand side window when you double click on the reference).

Export references using Output style 'BibTeX Export using EN Label Field'. If you don't have this option - go to Tools-Output Style-Style Manager and click the box for it. (If there is no box go to 'Get More on the Web' and search and install it. )

  • Welcome. // Sounds feasable. Can you add some more illustrations to your answer, like code-(snippets) or screenshots?
    – MS-SPO
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 8:39

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