Importing notes from Sente

Hello, here is another part of my experience with migrating a fairly big library from Sente (3000+ references, 1400 attached files). The path used has been to export all references from within Sente as BibTex, and then importing that into Zotero.
It works fairly well for most all data, but notes (made within Sente) don't get imported.

A crude approximation should be manageable. While Sente doesn't export its notes by default, it can be made to do so by modifying the 'bibtex generic citation" style within Sente [edit: this is wrong, see below]. The output has an additional "notes={…}" field that carries the desired data. But it doesn't get imported in Zotero (it doesn't get in the way of importing the rest, however).

Obviously, if there was a way to tell Zotero how to use the notes= field, in order to get them into Zotero (even as a single note aggregating all the notes from Sente), it would already be far better than nothing! Possibly it's just a matter of naming the field correctly, maybe notes= is not the correct identifier.

Sample bibtex data below. Any suggestions welcome.
  • @article{Pesch:AdministrationSociety:2008,
    author = {Pesch, Udo},
    title = {The Publicness of Public Administration},
    journal = {Administration \& Society},
    uuid = {663572AB-A2EF-49F2-8840-83DFA4A5151F},
    volume = {40},
    number = {2},
    pages = {170-193},
    publisher = {SAGE Publications},
    month = {4},
    year = {2008},
    doi = {10.1177/0095399707312828},
    ISSN = {1552-3039},
    sentelink = {{},COINS,Link for download},
    sentelink = {{},COINS,Web page},
    sentelink = {file://localhost/Users/janmattijs/Documents/Documents%20externes/Papiers/Management%20public/Pesch%202008%20publicness%20of%20PA.pdf,Sente,},
    url = {},
    keywords = {Publicness},
    tags = {Publicness},
    Sente_Internal_PDF_Cover_Page_Counts_By_Attachment_UUID = {\{"4DC46D1A-E4A6-4A5F-ADDB-97F2A15733C3":1\}},
    Primary_contributor_role = {Author},
    Citation_identifier = {Pesch 2008},
    publicationStatus = {Unknown},
    GCA_ID = {spaas;40/2/170},
    Medium_consulted = {Web},
    abstract = {Public administration theory has always struggled to find a clear-cut understanding of the publicness of public administration. There are at least five different approaches to distinguish public from private organizations. A closer examination shows that these five approaches are based on two conceptual versions of the publicness of public administration. The first conceptual version derives its understanding of publicness from public goods, whereas the second conceptual version involves the publicness of the public interest. These two versions are derived from two contravening ontological descriptions of publicness that have been developed in modern political theory. Both of these ontological descriptions have to be acknowledged as constitutive for understanding the publicness of public administration: Public administration can be seen as the empirical manifestation of the confrontation of these two meanings, which implies that public administration is constituted by an inconsistent conceptual framework.},
    notes = {(184) Now that is a bit over the top. Ever since Adam Smith, through Cournot, Walras and Pigou, there is a long tradition of public economics among liberal economists.(188) FOR the public = instrumental; OF the public = essential(190) (187) (185) Of course, but the necessity of subsidizing private producers for public goods weakens the arguments since this increases the publicness of the organization still the distinction between public production (customers), public ownership (shareholders) and public "behaviour" (or maybe governance: stakeholders) of an org remains unaccounted for by any dichotomy.(185) (180) (187) Dialectique dans le suivant(186) (189) () (187) (177) What does the author mean here by publicness of public interest. seems tautological. May refer to institutions?}
    author = {Dunham, Laura and Freeman, R. Edward and Liedtka, Jeanne M.},
    title = {Enhancing Stakeholder Practice: a Particularized Exploration of Community},
    journal = {Business Ethics Quarterly},
    uuid = {45A36E4A-C9D3-475C-BFDA-2E1832F14664},
    volume = {16},
    number = {1},
    pages = {23-42},
    publisher = {Philosophy Documentation Center},
    year = {2006},
    ISSN = {1052150X},
    sentelink = {{},COINS,Web page},
    sentelink = {file://localhost/Users/janmattijs/Documents/Documents%20externes/Papiers/Management%20public/strategie/Dunham%20Freeman%20Liedtka%202006%20Enhancing%20stakeholder%20practice.pdf,Sente,},
    url = {},
    keywords = {Stakeholders},
    tags = {Stakeholders},
    Primary_contributor_role = {Author},
    Citation_identifier = {Dunham 2006},
    publicationStatus = {Unknown},
    Medium_consulted = {Web},
    notes = {(34) (25) The wider definition seems to me to embody a normative stance about who should be counted as stk on grounds other than power, whereas the narrow definitions generally restrict to "objective" criteria that tend to eliminate the normative dimension of stakeholding. Two dimensions seem confused here: the empirical (and normative) problem of level of analysis and disaggregation vs. the purely normative problem of claim legitimacy.(35) (34) (35) (27) (29) (26) (36) (33) (37) (33) (34) (35) (28) (28) (32) (24) (35) They make this a tenet of their way of interacting with primary stakeholders (see below), but it's wishfull thinking. A busines is held together by much more crude and external norms and incentives than a CoP.(30) (30) (32) (0) (30) The GM Poletown case below is more relevant(33) (38) (36) (31) (26) (27) (27) (38) (30) Back to 19th-century company embeddedness in local communities?(28) (36)}
    author = {Fowler, Alan},
    title = {Demonstrating NGO Performance: Problems and Possibilities},
    journal = {Development in Practice},
    uuid = {31FAD195-56B4-4540-BD17-6C49F15D2F16},
    volume = {6},
    number = {1},
    pages = {58-65},
    publisher = {Taylor \& Francis, Ltd. on behalf of Oxfam GB},
    year = {1996},
    ISSN = {09614524},
    sentelink = {file://localhost/Users/janmattijs/Documents/Documents%20externes/Papiers/Management%20public/Not-for%20profit%2C%20NGO%20and%20voluntary/Fowler%201996%20Demonstrating%20NGO%20performance.pdf,Sente,},
    url = {},
    Copyright = {Copyright \copyright 1996 Oxfam GB},
    Sente_Internal_PDF_Cover_Page_Counts_By_Attachment_UUID = {\{"9D906CDD-4290-4E75-84FC-22D14838FC21":1\}},
    Primary_contributor_role = {Author},
    Citation_identifier = {Fowler 1996},
    publicationStatus = {Published},
    jstor_formatteddate = {Feb., 1996},
    Medium_consulted = {Web},
    notes = {(63) Renvoyer les contradictions vers les stk plut\^{o}t que de les internaliser. Hypoth\`{e}se de jeu \`{a} somme nulle ou faible. Quid de l'hypocrysie?(59) (58) (60) (61) (60) (60) (60) (62) (62) (62) (63) (59) (58) (62) (61)}
    author = {OECD},
    title = {The non-profit sector in a changing economy},
    uuid = {80B8FF2D-21BD-4ED0-B3D7-1B991BB52943},
    publisher = {Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development},
    address = {Paris},
    year = {2003},
    ISBN = {92-64-19953-5},
    sentelink = {file://localhost/Users/janmattijs/Documents/Documents%20externes/Papiers/Management%20public/Not-for%20profit%2C%20NGO%20and%20voluntary/OECD%202003%20The%20Non-profit%20Sector%20in%20a%20Changing%20Economy.pdf,Sente,},
    url = {},
    keywords = {Tiers secteur et économie sociale},
    tags = {Tiers secteur et \'{e}conomie sociale},
    Primary_contributor_role = {Author},
    Citation_identifier = {Oecd 2003},
    publicationStatus = {Unknown},
    Google_Scholar_BibTeX_export_key = {HgOZiAcppQQJ},
    notes = {(268) (304) (268) (234) (288) (184) (316) (268) (267) (276) (5) (267) (264) (268) (273) (277) (267) (268) (265) (273) (267) (269) how can nonprofit VA be measured for non-market activites, let alone be "included in government"?(269) (267) (298) (183) (276)}
  • BibTeX "note" will import into Zotero's extra field
    BibTeX "annote" and/or "comment" will import as Zotero notes.
  • While sente is using an uncommon field here, I'd not be opposed to importing 'notes' into zotero notes (just as we do for 'annote' and 'comment', now).
  • edited May 30, 2014
    Thanks for your very useful advice. It's a bit more complicated than I thought because Sente does NOT export based on an editable Bibtex style, but probably based on some hard-coded routine. So the notes get exported to a "notes =" field (plural!).
    However this can be fixed with some industrial-strength find&replace in the bibtex file, replacing with "annote =".
    Then import proceeds well, and Sente notes are grouped in a single Zotero note for each item, which is already nice.
  • Another caveat: Sente does not export the whole notes in Bibtex, but only the page number and the comment part. The note titles and quotes are ignored.
    Just for the reader's info, nothing Zotero can do about it obviously!
  • I'd not be opposed to importing 'notes' into zotero notes (just as we do for 'annote' and 'comment', now).
    done. No need to do the search&replace described by Jan above. Obviously the incomplete export issue remains.
  • Thanks! The partial export of notes is confirmed by other users, and acknowledged in a rather offhand manner by Sente support ( I hope they will fix this, as partially unexported notes really are a loss of information.
  • export from Sente in endnote xml and then import into zotero that way... works super well and brings notes etc.
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