Articles in Chinese databases

Using the main Chinese article database, CNKI (, I'm unable to get the translator to work. A translator icon shows up, but it pops up an "error occurred" message and nothing shows up in my library.

Example: "从中俄外交文书看清前期中俄关系," by 王和平, published in 历史档案 in 2008. (Title can be used directly as search string.)

Using another database, Airiti (, I find the same article, but when I click the translator icon, it fetches an article called "Training Effects of Different Approaching Steps on Overarm Throwing Performance for Boys Aged 7-12 Years," in English, which has nothing to do with the article I asked for. (DOI incompatibility?)

CNKI also has a version that US universities subscribe to for full-text access, available at This site is very similar in structure and format to regular CNKI, but it doesn't even show a translator icon.

Any help would be appreciated.
  • Thanks for reporting. As I said on Twitter, I'll try to get this fixed in the next few days. Both sites being in Mandarin will not make this one bit easier. I'll also see if we can include
  • Chrome's auto translator feature is quite helpful--it makes it pretty clear where the various bits of data are even if it makes a hash of the real words.
  • I didn't notice any links to export RIS, BibTeX, EndNote metadata on that page. Are you aware of any such feature on their website?
  • Unfortunately not, although the little green link on the bottom right, above the knowledge-web stuff, takes you to a slightly more screenscraper-friendly version. I guess the way the name of the article is mixed in with editorial contact info is gonna be trouble.
  • there is a way to get to Endnote Export.
    - On the search results page, check the box next to the article.
    - Then click on the second button next to the (1) (it's second symbol looks like two tridents)
    - You'll get to the "marked item" view. Again check the article(s) and again click the second button from the left, which again has the double-trident symbol. You'll see an Endnote link on the left (it's Refer/Bibix)
  • Oh god... that sounds like a huge PITA for translators. Let's see if we can take some shortcuts.
  • @slawkenbergius a fixed version of the translator for CNKI is now up. You can update your version via Preferences -> General -> Update Now

    The translator works on and but not on (though that may happen). It works on search results page (and any page that has a list like that) and individual item pages. At least for me, the site is _very_ slow, so the import may take a while (I also noticed that when doing multiple imports from the search results page, the Zotero notification popup may disappear after a little while, but the import usually goes through. I'll look into that)

    This needs some more testing though. All I was able to test it on were thesis and journal article entries. Let us know if the URL bar icon doesn't show up somewhere where it should, or if the type of reference that is imported is not right or doesn't match what was displayed in the URL bar.

    Also, keep an eye on author names. My rule was to use first character as last name and the remaining as first name. Let me know if that's not right. Also if you find some references with institutional authors, we can see if there's a way to distinguish them.

    Finally, this doesn't attach PDFs. I don't have access to them. If you can tell me whether there is a link on either the search results page or the individual items page (or both), where you can right-click -> Save Link As and it downloads a PDF, we can easily add that feature in.

    Will work on Airiti next.
  • Aurimas, thanks very much for the excellent work. Attaching pdfs in zotero is very needed for me. So Below I provide the "Chinese words" to show the downloading links.
    1) in searching results page, there is a "下载“ letter in the title of the result table, and the downloading links are in the same column of "下载".
    2) in the individual item page, there is a link showed as "PDF下载”, that is.
    We are looking forward to your progressing, thanks.
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