Adding Impact Factors to EndNote references

Based on this discussion, a solution seemed feasible.

Adding the Impact Factor to an empty field in the references themselves is probably possible, but the Find/Replace options within EndNote aren’t sophisticated enough to do it, so the process would involve exporting the Library out into Excel, running the replacements, then importing back – which is likely to run into a load of other problems en route. Plus: any new references added to the library would need the Impact Factor adding (or the whole process to be run again).

Better: use term lists to make the replacements. You will need: EndNote’s term list (in the case I was working on it was the medical one), and a full table of current Impact Factors downloaded in Excel format from Journal Citation Reports.

Instructions (I’m sure some of these could be refined if I was better at Excel, but this will work):

Open both the term list (as a UTF-8 tab-delimited text file) and the downloaded IF list in Excel (and paste them into the same file).

You can try and tidy up the IF list a little to match the term list formatting (e.g. a find/replace “fur” -> “für” to cover the German journal names).

In the term list, copy the full journal names into an additional column. Use Excel’s VLOOKUP function to replace that column with the appropriate value from the IF table.

Copy that column as values into a new column (then delete the old one) then replace “#N/A” with just “n/a” (or whatever you want to see if there is no IF for that journal). Fix any notable values that didn’t get picked up (e.g. BMJ/British Medical Journal).

So now hopefully you’ve got the term list with an extra column with IF values (or “n/a” or something if it doesn’t have one). The final steps depend how you want the IF to appear.


If you’re happy for it to appear with the journal name in the reference, e.g. Journal of Stuff (IF 2014: 3.021) 42(1) 567-578, then:

Create a new column that uses CONCATENATE to combine the IF column with the full journal name column to get the Journal of Stuff (IF 2014: 3.021) format (or however you’d like it).

Paste that column to replace the Abbreviation 1 column (and delete all columns beyond Full/Abbreviation 1/Abbreviation 2/Abbreviation 3).

Save as a text file. [To get the right formatting (to avoid weird glitches), I found I had to save it from Excel as an Excel file, then open it in Access and save it as a text file (without ” ” markers), then open in Notepad and save as a UTF-8 format text file. Madness.]

Then you can import the term list into your EndNote library as normal (remembering to delete anything already in the journal term list before you import), then finally edit your style to use Abbreviation 1 (without removing periods), and boom, you’re sorted.

If you want abbreviated journal titles in your references, then just use the Abbreviation 1 or Abbreviation 2 column (depending on whether you want dots or not) in the CONCATENATE stage. I’d still always finish by replacing the Abbreviation 1 column with the modified journal name + IF, since journal titles generally don’t appear in that format when they get imported into EndNote (i.e. that column is not needed for ‘recognising’ the journal name from your EndNote library references).


If you want the IF to appear separately to the journal name, e.g. Journal of Stuff 42(1) 567-578 (IF 2014: 3021), then:

Paste just the IF (just the number) into the Abbreviation 1 column. Save as a UTF-8 text file without ” ” markers in the elaborate way mentioned above.

Now, in your EndNote library, first make sure the values in the ‘Journal’ field is correct for all references (so if you have results from PubMed (which for mysterious reasons includes an abbreviated journal title in the ‘Journal’ field and the full name in ‘Alternative Journal’), identify those references, select them all and use Tools > Change/Move/Copy fields… to move ‘Alternative Journal’ field values to ‘Journal’). Then use the Change/Move/Copy on the whole library to copy the ‘Journal’ field to an unused field (e.g. ‘Tertiary Title’).

Finally, import the IF-enhanced term list, then modify your style so that the journal article template features ‘Tertiary Title’ where the journal name needs to be and ‘Journal’ where the IF needs to be, and choose to use ‘Abbreviation 1’ for abbreviation format. Bosh!


Obviously, once you’re using any of these systems, if you spot any journal names that are missing the correct IF, just edit the term list appropriately.


Hmm, writing that all down, it sounds pretty bad, but honestly, it’s actually not too fiddly – and it works!