Skip to Main Content

EndNote: How do I edit incomplete imported PDFs?

Everything about using EndNote and EndNote Online. Library workshops: Introduction to EndNote for Windows (Online); EndNote Drop-in Sessions


After importing a PDF file, EndNote will sometimes only import the attachment and not the bibliographic information because of missing metadata associated with the PDF file. 

Understanding how EndNote works to import PDF files and the bibliographic information into the EndNote library helps uncover the mystery. When importing PDF files, EndNote scans the metadata and the first two pages of the PDF file to locate a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). If a single DOI is found, that DOI is sent to the CrossRef system. If CrossRef recognizes the DOI, the bibliographic information is imported into EndNote. 

For bibliographic information to be entered automatically into EndNote when importing PDFs, only one DOI must be present in the article, and that DOI must be on a single line. Sometimes, bibliographic information is missing when PDF files are imported. This is especially true when the imported PDF file is a scanned document. To correct this, do the following: