Skip to Main Content

Covidence: Preparing Your References for Covidence

Created by Health Science Librarians

Exporting from Endnote Desktop

Open Endnote Desktop and select the references you want to import into Covidence.

Go to the File menu and select Export.

Endnote export menu

Enter a name for your file and select XML as a file type. Note that Covidence will only accept XML files if they are created by Endnote. Then select Export Selected References at the bottom.

Save as XML file type

In the dropdown menu next to Output style, select Show All Fields.

Click Save. Your citations will download.

Exporting from Sciwheel

Gather all your references into one folder.

Click the dropdown box on the top left of the screen, and select All References. You should see that the check box next to each reference on the page is now checked.

selecting references in F1000

Click on the copy/move/export icon on the top of the screen, which looks like a door with an arrow pointing out. Select Export as…

exporting from f1000export icon

Enter a file name and select RIS from the file type dropdown menu. Click Download file.

Your references will download.

Exporting 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.

Exporting from Mendeley

Select the references you want to import into Covidence.

Right-click on the references, and select Export.

Select articles in Mendeley and right click to export




















A dialog box will open. Enter a name for your file and select RIS as the file type. Click Save.

Your references are now ready to be uploaded into Covidence.

Exporting from PubMed

Run your search exactly as you want it.  Do not select any articles.  Under the “Send to” menu, select File.

clicking on send to, selecting file

You will then see options for what type of file to create.  Select XML format and then create the file.  Note that the total number of results (XXX for this search) will be downloaded.

select XML

If Pubmed creates a file on your computer, you can import it into Covidence.  If you get a webpage that looks like the image above, right click the page and select “Save As.”

  • In Firefox, choose “Webpage, XML only”
  • In Chrome, choose “XML document”
  • On a Mac, save as “Page Source”

This will save the file to your computer, and then you can import it into Covidence.

Exporting from Embase

NOTE: You need to create an account in Embase and log in in order to export citations.

Once you have completed your search in Embase, select the number of results you want to export.

Select the export button from the menu above the results.  Select the RIS file type and click Export. 

You will also need to click Download once the file is ready.  Then you are ready to import your citations into Covidence.

Exporting from EBSCO databases (CINAHL, PsycInfo, Global Health, etc.)

In our EBSCO databases, there are two ways to export articles.  If you only have a few hundred results, you may want to use our instructions For Smaller Sets of Results.  If you have several hundred or thousands of results, you will want to use our instructions For Larger Sets of Results at the bottom of this box.

For Smaller Sets of Results

Run your search exactly as you want it.  You will need an RIS file from CINAHL to import into Covidence. Depending on the number of results, you can save articles two ways.  Either way you will first go to the Share menu on the right side of the results column.

If it is a small number of results, you can add them to the folder in bunches.  If you click on Page Options and change the Results per page to 50, you can send 50 at a time to the folder. 

change page options to 50

Once they are in the folder, click “Folder View in the column to the right of the results. On the next screen, choose “Direct Export in RIS Format” in the right column. 

Select Direct export to RIS

Then click Save in the left column.

Click save


For Larger Sets of Results

 If you have a large number of results, go to the bottom of the Share menu and select “Email a link to download exported results.” 

select share email results to self

Select the RIS format in the right column.  Enter your email, and in a few minutes, you should receive your file from