Copy information from Notes to Info field: extra

I have just imported my library from endnote to standalone zotero for Mac. Information in fields that are not in zotero went into the Notes section. I would like to copy them all into the Extra: field under the Info tab. Is there anyway to do this? It looks like I could go back to endnote and move the data into whatever field gets imported as Extra: and import the library again. That might be the easiest way. Any ideas about how to do it in Zotero?
  • If re-importing from Endnote is an easy option, the easiest way would actually be to change the Zotero import script to do this.
    If you're not afraid of computers (you don't need to know any programming yourself) we can tell you exactly what to do.
    Doing this in Zotero proper would be a good deal more involved and require javascript coding.
    Let us know whether that'd be useful.
  • Ok, so there isn't a particular field in Endnote that would automatically be imported into the Extra: field in Zotero?
  • Also what are you trying to achieve by doing this?
  • What I'm trying to achieve is that I would like to see all the information that I imported from Endnote in the one pane in Zotero, i.e. the Info pane, rather than have to click separately on the Notes pane.

    Also I would like to add to the Notes pane, the rather lengthy notes on articles that I currently have in separate Word documents. If I only use the Notes area for that, then I will be able to see easily in the library view, whether I have notes on a publication or not. At the moment I see all these 'notes' that are really just stuff from some fields in Endnote that did not go into Info fields in Zotero.
  • There are two ways to go about this:

    1. If you want ALL of the data that is currently being imported into notes beginning with "The following values have no corresponding Zotero field:" to go into Extra, you can edit the RIS translator:

      Find your Zotero data directory. In that directory, you will see a "translators" directory, inside that directory, you fill find a "RIS.js" file. Open that file in a text editor, like WordPad or NotePad++ (I'd recommend the latter).

      Search for the line "if(note) {" (should be line 920). Then modify the following:

      1. Few lines above, you will find two instances of "&ltbr/>". Change those to "\n"

      2. Right below "if(note) {" add the following:
        if(!item.extra) item.extra = '';
        else item.extra += '\n';
        item.extra += note;

      3. Comment out or delete the remaining code inside "if(note)" block

      The end result should look like:
      //store unsupported and unknown fields in a single note
      if(!Zotero.parentTranslator) {
      var note = '';
      for(var i=0, n=item.unsupportedFields.length; i<n; i++) {
      note += item.unsupportedFields[i] + '\n';
      for(var i=0, n=item.unknownFields.length; i<n; i++) {
      note += item.unknownFields[i] + '\n';

      if(note) {
      if(!item.extra) item.extra = '';
      else item.extra += '\n';
      item.extra += note;

      //note = "The following values have no corresponding Zotero field:<br/>" + note;
      //item.notes.push({note: note.trim(), tags: ['_RIS import']});

    2. If you only want certain fields to be placed into Extra, you can open up the RIS file and replace the tags for those fields with M2. We can tell you which ones to replace if you tell us which fields you want to keep.
  • Thanks heaps - that worked! All I have left in Notes now are things that were in the Notes field in Endnote and most of these are actually notes, so that's fine.
  • Btw, I intentionally didn't tell you to save this under a different file name/translator ID, because I assume you will only be doing this once. When we release an update for the RIS translator (doesn't look like we will any time soon though), this will overwrite your changes and you'll be back to importing unknown fields into notes. Let us know if you need to keep these settings permanently.
  • Once is enough - think I'll stick with Zotero from now on!
  • Is there a way to keep the RefWorks Ref ID info in Zotero. When exporting from RefWorks using the RIS format, the Ref ID is tagged as "ID - 123" for instance. When importing the RIS file in Zotero, this info is lost. I'm assisting a professor who is interested in maintaining his Ref IDs once in Zotero and I'm trying to figure out how to get this data into the "Extra" field in Zoteor. aurimas' comment on Aug. 20 2013 alludes to this being possible in point #2 of his comment. Any guidance would be appreciated.
  • @plabelle, if you have further questions, please start a thread. Your issues is only tangentially related to this three-year old thread at best.

    I assume you're using RIS format. You will need to modify the RefWorks exporter or search/replace the "ID - " tag in the file it generates or can edit Zotero's RIS.js to send the ID field somewhere (it is ignored currently). "M2" goes to extra. Some people use 'AN' for these sorts of accession numbers instead. This would get pushed to Zotero's "location in archive" field.
  • Hi I'm sorry to open an old thread but I have a similar but different need to rsinger's original post. When I import a library I want its 'Notes' field to import to the Zotero 'Extra' field instead of the Zotero 'Notes' field. This will allow me to create an annotated bibliography using the 'APA annotated bibliography' style per this thread: Can anyone help with maybe a slightly different amendment to the RIS.js file? Many thanks.
  • Really, the easiest thing to do would be to change your RIS file that you exported from Endnote. Find all instances of "N1" and change them to "M2".
  • Hi bwiernik thanks very much for the super-fast reply. I probably should have said in my post that I exported from Mendeley rather than from Endnote and the export is in a .bib file. When I look at that .bib file in TextEdit on my Mac I see the note that I made in Mendeley like this:
    annote = {Need to follow this up.},
    I changed this to
    M2 = {Need to follow this up.},
    When I imported the edited .bib file into Zotero the note wasn't there (unsurprisingly) but the 'Extra' field was blank too. Sorry if I'm not being too bright but I can't figure out how to get the annote data into 'Extra'. What am I doing wrong?
  • My instructions were for .ris, not .bib. Those are completely different formats. For .bib, change annote to note
  • Hi bwiernik - thanks, just tried changing annote to note in the .bib file and when I imported to zotero it still went into the 'Notes' field and 'Extra' was still empty.
  • I, it looks like that part of the documentation was outdated. There isn’t any easy way to modify .bib files to import to Extra. I recommend going back to Mendeley and exporting as .ris, then modifying as above.

    Alternatively, you can use this tool, which does a more complete Mendeley->Zotero export than Mendeley normally allows:
  • (if this is absolutely not an option, it _is_ possible to modify the way Zotero imports bibtex to put annote into the Extra field, but at that point you'll be working with javascript, so it's a bit more involved)
  • Hi bweirnik and adamsmith, thank you so much for your help and sorry I took a while to respond (I have an experiment underway that took my attention). bwiernik, your suggestion of exporting from Mendeley to a .ris file worked perfectly - I did that, changed all instances of "N1" to "M2" and, Bob was my uncle, all my Mendeley "Notes" were in my Zotero "Extra" fields. To finish off, I then created an annotated bibliography using the "Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition (note, annotated bibliography)" style that I downloaded from here (there's also an APA version but that includes the abstract which I don't want). Thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to help with this. You have helped me hugely!
  • edited February 6, 2018
    I've followed the instructions provided by aurimas to import an Endnote library with all the information from the unsupported fields put in the EXTRA field of Zotero, but it won't work. I wonder if they are still valid in Zotero I found that the RIS.js translator file is by deafault somewhat different from that pointed to in the instructions. For example, there is no "&ltbr/>", but in its place is <"br/>". (I've already tried treating the latter for the other, but it won't work). Please, help.
  • Also, I imported an .xml file, since that is the suggested format (, wich I reckon wasn't the case when instrucions were posted.
  • right, the above instructions work for RIS, i.e. text, not XML, so you'll want to use that.
    Alternatively, you can do the same thing with Endnote XML, though the instructions will be slightly different and the file to change is Endnote XML.js not RIS.js -- I'm afraid I won't have time to verify & troubleshoot the code, though.
  • Thank you. No hurrys. I'll wait.
  • I would dearly appreciate some input or at least a probable date this could be addressed, or if it is likely it would be addressed at all. I'm holding my change to Zotero, pending on this issue. If it won't be addressed in the foreseeable future I would like to know, so I can make another plan. Thank you.
  • sorry, I'm not sure what there is to be addressed -- there is no Zotero bug I'm aware of mentioned here. You're asking for help with a custom coding solution & I've given you some pointers on where to look and said that I wouldn't be able to review any specifics.
  • @andresvallejo I recommend you export as RIS and follow the alternative RIS instructions in the documentation and the steps given in this thread to insert data into Extra.
  • Thank you, bwiernik. Would that mean I would loose all formatting (bold, italics, etc.)?
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