Update Wiki about Import Formats

I updated the wiki about the currently possible import format in zotero. It would be good, if someone can check that. I rearranged them alphabetically but used bold for the two most prominent formats. Moreover, I don't know how the Endnote XML format is connected to the KB article about importing from Endnote.
  • I definitely appreciate any effort at improving documentation, but I actually think the older version was better. Listing all formats in alphabetical order is of very little instructional value. The old list started with what are likely the two richest formats that are the closes to allowing true roundtripping & then listed formats that are less rich/more lossy, but also more ubiquitous.

    I think that the documentation should encourage the use of the modern RDF/XML formats (particularly those that are open/well documented formats not siloed behind a single less-than-responsive company) wherever possible.
  • edited September 18, 2015
    Well, I agree in general with you. However, the old version was IMO not documenting all the possibilities of importing methods. Why are some possibilities not mentioned at all? Actually, I think this is a unique feature from zotero to have such wide variety to import from. How should someone know whether it is possible to import from format XY into zotero, if it is not written up in the documentation?

    We can change the order, however, I don't think the order alone has any instructional value. Maybe, we should introduce explicit headings before "Modern, rich formats:", "Old, lossy formats", "Special Library formats", ...?

    BTW would you say that the CSL JSON is not modern because it is not RDF/XML? Well, I guess it would be possible to make it JSON-LD conform.
  • More comments would be appreciated.
  • I have a few recommendations. I can help with the page if my ideas seem good.

    I'd like to see at the top a contents list (with likks to what is below) of the ways items may be brought into the library. Ex:

    - Entering by hand - note that some hand editing is often necessary even when automated imports (see below) are used

    - Direct import from websites, databases, publishers, etc. (Google Scholar, PubMed, etc.)

    - Imports using standard identification numbers (DOI, ISBN, etc.)

    - Imports from other bib management software

    - Capturing regular pages from websites


    The very first graphic under web translators is out-of-date. It seems to show FireFox with a Zotero book icon positioned within the URL address bar.


    I strongly recommend that the section on importing from other software include directions for things in addition to EndNote.


    While I personally find the newly added list of import formats interesting and useful, I believe that this list requires some annotation text for persons without knowledge of the nuances of bibliographic data exchange. Comments are needed about the benefits of one format over another; lossiness; the quality of the exported metadata from outside sources to allow decisions concerning the best way to both get data out and get that data into Zotero. Will the data benefit from editing before it is ready to be imported? If so, a comment will be needed to give direction for this: use of a text editor instead of word processor; cautions about punctuation, indents, tags, xml editing that automatically removes the tags and dtd, etc.

    I can add more of my thoughts but I'd first like some feedback.
  • For the import list:
    I do think that we should have a full list somewhere, but I agree with noksagt that having the full list here isn't terribly helpful.

    We should have a short list of the recommended exchange formats with comments about their pros and cons. E.g. Pubmed XML, WoS, and Ovid Tagged -- while I think it's great we support them -- don't really belong here as they're not used as import from other tools. Similarly for CSL JSON and MARC. There are no other bib tools that export those, so this isn't the place to document them.

    I think we should order them hierarchically, roughly

    Zotero RDF / Bibliontology RDF (no need to strike out Zotero RDF -- it's still supported and cover some things Bibliontology doesn't)


    Endnote XML (this is actually very similar to RIS in importing from Endnote, but may have some small advantages and is one of the few styles that will preserve italics across imports.)
    RIS (maybe note that his can be convenient for quick edits between export&import because of its simple structure).
    BibTeX (note richness, but warn about lack of standardization)
    RefWorks Tagged (recommend for RW)
    ReferBibix (discourage if any other option present)

    I don't want Import instructions from Endnote on that same page. I makes sense to link to them and keep them on a separate page as we do now.
  • Thank you for your comments. I see now a little clearer the problem: The section is called "Import from other Tools" where the headline before the list ist called "Zotero can import the following bibliographic file formats", which indicates for me a complete list.

    I'd like to see at the top a contents list (with li[n]ks to what is below)
    Isn't this exactly the table of contents on the top right?

    I do think that we should have a full list somewhere, but I agree with noksagt that having the full list here isn't terribly helpful.
    Okay, that sounds like a plan. The seperate page can be linked from the short list, I assume. How about a page called "Import Formats"?

    Is there any other bibliographic tool that supports RDF? I checked several times and I cannot import from Zotero RDF, which has translatorType 2 (i.e. export only). Do I miss something here?

    Do you recommend to use Endnote XML or RIS for importing from Endnote? I don't understand why the importing instructions are explaining how to do that with RIS, when there is a Endnote XML import option.

    For the list itself: I would propose to include CSL JSON as well, because there are so many tools that use that format at least internally. I don't really care about the order. The recommendations for a specific tool are useful, the other hints may become vague, but I am not aggainst them.
  • Endnote XML is preferred for Endnote import over RIS. If I recall, the instructions predate good support for Endnote XML.
  • I udpated the pictures in the beginning. I don't know how to proceed about the list: I suggested to have the full list on a separate page (import formats) and link it from the short list.
  • I reverted the list in https://www.zotero.org/support/getting_stuff_into_your_library?&#importing_from_other_tools and linked to a new created page https://www.zotero.org/support/import_formats and added some of the comments by adamsmith. Please feel free to improve that and write more about the different formats.
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