Answered By: Laurissa Gann
Last Updated: May 29, 2024     Views: 34397

This can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  1. Your EndNote Library may have duplicate references that have both been cited in your Word document.  (Use the "remove duplicates" function in your EndNote library before inserting citations into your manuscript to avoid this problem.  However, this feature is not foolproof, since citations brought in from different sources may have slight differences in authors' names and initials, or in the way the journal title is abbreviated.  You may also need to visually scan your EndNote reference list for duplicates.)
  1. The EndNote field codes may have been removed from the Word document. This can happen when a document is converted to plain text or saved with an incompatible version of MS Word. 
  1. You may have deleted or backspaced over your citation numerals, which confuses the EndNote program because the numbers are gone but the EndNote coding may remain behind the scenes.  Always highlight the citation and use the "Edit & Manage Citation(s)" toolbar function to remove citations, or "Convert to unformatted citations" before making changes (find this under the "Convert Citations & Bibliography" pull-down menu within the EndNote tab in Word). If you need to move a citation, it is best to remove it properly first, cut and paste the document text to the new location, then re-insert the citation.  Alternatively, you can cut and paste a block of text with its embedded citation as long as you are in "unformatted citations" mode within your Word document .
  1. The Word document may have text boxes that have citations within them; EndNote numbers these first
  1. The Word document may have tables or figures that have citations within them; EndNote numbers these first
  1. The Word document may have comments (a citation in a Comment balloon) or other tracked changes that are interfering with the citation numbering. Remove the citations with the Comment or turn the viewing of the Track Changes off. 

Because each problem may be different, it is not possible to offer the "one right answer" here.  Please feel free to contact us for assistance at 713-792-2282 or

Comments (2)

  1. thanks for your answers. So, if I have deleted over citations, is there a way to fix this without redo-ing all of my referencing? I have tried unformatting and then reformatting (and tried a number of different styles).

    by need help! on Feb 18, 2019
  2. There is no way to automatically fix this, but you might try contacting EndNote to see if they have any suggestions.
    by Laurissa Gann on Feb 19, 2019

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