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Choosing a Citation Manager: From Zotero

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

Created by Health Science Librarians


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 Sciwheel.

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 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 Sciwheel (F1000)

 Log in to your Sciwheel account and navigate to My References

2. Select the Import References button.

3. From the resulting menu, drop down References to view your options.

From here, there are two options.

4a. First Option: Select the icon labeled Zotero. You will be redirected to sign into your Zotero account, where you will give F1000 access to your library. 

5a. Once you have entered a Key Description and selected Accept Defaults, you will be redirected back to F1000 to select options for importing your Zotero library. Select Import.

4b. Second Option: Select the icon of a page with an asterisk labeled RIS, BIB, NBIB & EndNote XML files.

5b. Select the file you exported from Zotero and click open.

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.