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EndNote: Using Term Lists

All your EndNote questions answered

Term Lists


Using Term Lists allows EndNote to either shorten journal titles or lengthen abbreviated journal titles to standardise references you’ve downloaded from the internet or to suit the needs of your publisher.

To set up your term list:

In EndNote, go to Library, Open Term Lists, and select Journals Term List

Click on one term, and press Control+A (Windows) or Command+A (Mac) to highlight all terms. Then click the Delete Term button to delete all terms (this seems scary, but it is totally the right thing to do!)

Click on the Lists tab and highlight the Journals list.

Click Import List, and select the list most suited to your field of research (eg: Medical). On a PC you may need to follow the path: Computer, Local Disk (C:), Program Files, EndNote version, Terms Lists. On a Mac the path is: Applications, EndNote version, Terms.

Click on Open. This will install your term list. You can only have one term list installed at a time; but you can delete and replace term lists by repeating the steps above.

If you click back on the Terms tab you'll see the full list of names and abbreviations. You can edit terms, or add new terms, if you wish.

Close the Term Lists window.

If you now edit your style (Tools > Output Styles > Edit "your style") and select the Journal Names option in the menu on the left, you can choose whether you want the Full Journal Name, or Abbreviation 1 (this is the abbreviated title with full stops) or Abbreviation 2 (same abbreviations but without full stops) to be displayed in your reference lists. EndNote will automatically check what you have in the Journal Name field of your references in EndNote, and replace in your reference list if required.

Note that what you have in the Journal Name field of each reference must match exactly what is in the Term List. So always check each reference in the Preview panel in EndNote: if you notice a journal title that is not being changed as expected, you will need to either:

  • check the spelling in the Journal Name field exactly matches the spelling in the Term List, including punctuation; or
  • you may need to add the journal title and its abbreviation to the Term List using the New Term button; or
  • ensure you have the correct reference style selected, and that the style has been edited so the correct abbreviation is selected in the Journal Names section.