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Switching Citation Managers

This guide will outline how to switch to a new citation manager like RefWorks, Endnote, Zotero, or Mendeley

Overview

Zotero is a citation manager that can be used to manage PDFs, but that functionality is a bit limited. There are some drawbacks to Zotero, which may cause some users to want to switch to another citation manager, like perhaps Endnote, Mendeley, or RefWorks.

On this page, we will outline the steps that you need to go through in order to transfer your Zotero library to another citation manager.

Exporting your citations from Zotero

To export your citations from Zotero, you need to:

  1. Open Zotero
  2. Click on Gear icon then Export, like so:
    Selecting Gear Icon then Export Library in Zotero to export your citations
  3. Now select the RIS format. This format is the most compatible with all the other citation managers, so it's best to use this format. Select OK and select where you want to save the file. The Desktop is often the best place to save this file, so that you do not forget where you saved it. Like so:
    Saving your Mendeley library in the RIS format

If you have built a collection of notes to accompany the citations in your Zotero library, then you will want to export the Notes as well.

Now your Zotero library is ready to be imported into another citation manager.

Importing your citations into RefWorks

  1. Log in to your RefWorks account
  2. Click on References and then select Import
    Selecting References then Import in RefWorks to import citations from Mendeley
  3. Make sure the Import Filter/Data Source option is the RIS Format. Likewise, make sure the Database option is the RIS Format. Browse for the file you exported from Mendeley. Then click on Import to import your citations
    Selecting the RIS data source to import your Zotero citations into RefWorks

Importing your citations into Endnote

  1. Open Endnote and select File then Import then File. Like so:
    Selecting File then Import then File in Endnote to import citations from Mendeley
  2. Choose the file that you want to import. Now select the Reference Manager (RIS) Import option and then click on Import.
    Selecting the Reference Manager (RIS) option in Endnote to import citations from Zotero

Importing your citations into Mendeley

  1. Open Mendeley and select File then Import then RIS - Research Information Systems (*.ris). Like so:
    Selecting File then Import then RIS in Mendeley to import citations from Zotero
  2. Choose the file that that you exported from Zotero and then click on Open.