Importing my database from Mendeley: keeping citation keys

I wonder if when importing from Mendeley to Zotero citation keys remain identical. This is crucial for opening old and current papers in word and rebuild the bibliography list. Thanks.
  • edited September 28, 2022
    See the note about Mendeley citations here:
  • Thanks, however I couldn't find any information about whether citations key remain identical or are changed.
  • edited September 29, 2022
    What do you mean by citation keys? Are you talking about Mendeley citations in a Word/LibreOffice document, or do you mean BibTeX citation keys?

    If you mean the latter, Zotero doesn't currently have a Citation Key field (except for the new Preprint item type). Unknown fields from Mendeley should be added to the Extra field.

    The Better BibTeX plugin can be used for now to manage citation keys, until Zotero gains a proper Citation Key field (after which it will be possible to migrate "Citation Key: [key]" values in Extra to the proper field). I'm not sure if BBT automatically uses a "Citation Key: [key]" line in Extra, but it might.
  • Automatically in what sense?
  • See here:
    The first row is "citation key". It is usually "nameofauthorYEAR", a unique key to identify a reference. I have BetterBibtex installed as an extension, so I am not sure if this field comes from that extension. I just want to make sure the citation keys are preserved from Mendeley.
  • We don't have anything to do with that field, so I'd defer to @emilianoeheyns.
  • edited September 30, 2022
    Thanks, looking foward to a response. So where should we see the Extra Field for unknown fields from Mendeley?
  • The Extra field is at the bottom of the Info pane.
  • Before "Date Added" and "Modified" I see "Extra". Is that it?
    So I should see the citation key in that Extra field if I uninstalled BetterBibtex?
  • @Bourde: No, if you uninstall BBT, that field at the top goes away entirely. Can you post a screenshot of an item that was imported from Mendeley?

    @dstillman: there is a field citation_key on the Mendeley API so if that could be stuffed in extra as Citation Key: [citation_key] the rest should just work both for BBT and integrations like overleaf. It's not something BBT can do as by the time BBT can do anything, the key will have been lost already. Unless by
    Unknown fields from Mendeley should be added to the Extra field
    you mean that the value ends up in the extra field, just not with Citation Key:. That is something BBT could address.
  • edited September 30, 2022
    I'm saying if there's an unsupported field in Mendeley, it should be added to Extra. If that's not happening, it's a bug and someone should report it.
  • edited September 30, 2022
    Wouldn't that only work for preprint? What happens if an itemtype doesn't have a field that is listed in this mapping? Is it lost, or is it added to Extra?

    edit: and since it looks like there isn't a mendeley item type that maps to preprint in Zotero, it seems to me this value would always go the lost-or-extra route.
  • Added to Extra
  • edited October 5, 2022
    @Bourde that means Mendeley citation keys ought to show up in some way in the extra field. If so, please open an issue at, if not, file an issue at Zotero.
  • Thanks. The citation key is a fundamental piece of information that assigns a unique identifier to each reference in the library. This is essential for anybody working with references and citations. Each Bibtex citation starts with

    title = {From Cognitivism to Autopoiesis: Towards a Computational Framework for the Embodied Mind},
    author = {Allen, Micah and Friston, Karl J},
    year = {2016},
    journal = {Synthese},
    publisher = {{Springer Netherlands}},
    issn = {0039-7857},
    doi = {10.1007/s11229-016-1288-5},
    abstract = {...},
    keywords = {★,Active inference,Computationalism,Connectionism,Embodied cognition,Enactivism,Interoception,Predictive processing}

    Here "Allen2016" is the citationKey.
    It should have a field of its own, not just be lumped into "Extra", in my opinion.
  • As I say above, Zotero will be gaining a Citation Key field in all item types, and Better BibTeX can provide one for you now. Extra is just a temporary place for fields that haven't yet been added for technical reasons.

    (Also, Zotero isn't a BibTeX manager, so no, this is absolutely not "essential for anybody working with references and citations". Please avoid statements like that here.)
  • @Bourde please (re)read my previous comment above.
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