Inaccurate RIS file export

I looked in past forum discussions but could not find anything on this one. When I export one collections as a RIS file with 1045 records, I get 2000 plus records when I import the RIS into Endnote or Zotero. Some of the records are simple duplicating while some of the extra references are the result of halves of one reference showing up as references.

It would not be problem if I was the only person using the RIS but I plan to send it out to a large group. Thanks for any help.
  • Can you narrow this down to example records that import as duplicates or halves?
  • Thanks for your quick reply Dan.

    I can't figure out why some references are exporting as one reference while others are multiplying or splitting. Even when I export on the Zotero Standalone and import the file right back into the Standalone, I get too many records.

    I did export a smaller collection with 91 records as a RIS and that worked pretty well. It imported as 88 records.

    Is there another type of file that might export better, Bibtex or End XTML
    Most of the people I'm working with use Zotero or the free version of Endnote.
    Of course, the best thing to do would for everyone to use a Zotero Group but I can't get everyone to take that step.
  • If there are problems with RIS we'd like to fix those, but we'd need a sample file to do so.
  • This shouldn't at all happen and my expectation would be that it'd happen the same way regardless of format. How about if instead of exporting the collection, you do right-click --> select all and then export selected items?
  • Oh sorry, I was slow to see what you meant by sample. I can email you the very RIS file I'm having trouble with or share it with you in a Zotero Group. Which is best?
  • If it's not private, you can upload it to Dropbox or similar and provide a link here. If you'd prefer not to share it publicly, you can email it to with a link to this thread.
  • Thanks, I just emailed the file.
  • edited November 26, 2018
    What's an example of an item that's duplicated, what's an example of an item that's split into two, and what's the eight-character key from the URL for the collection in question when you view it on (You can email answers to if you prefer.)
  • Hello D. Stillman. Thank you for your help. Have you had a chance to look at the file I sent to Zotero support. It would be good to figure out why the Zotero Standalone is exporting duplicates of a lot of references.
  • You didn't respond to my questions above.
  • Thanks for replying. I did not see your questions.

    The 8 character key for the collection at is 5CF87S7U

    When I export a RIS file from the Zotero Standalone a lot of the records are duplicating. I don't think they are splitting apart also. Examples of ones that are duplicates when I import the RIS into Zotero are: Abraham (September, 2015); Abraham (Nov 2015; Acker 2002; Acker 2012). These are just the first few records in the collection. There must be hundreds of duplicates since the collection has 1051 records and the RIS export imports as 1,943 records.

    The collection I am exporting is from a Zotero Group. I'm not sure if that makes a difference. Thanks again for your help. - Scott
  • Sorry for the delay.

    1) Can you provide a Debug ID for an export that produces a file with duplicates?

    2) How exactly are you generating the export? If you're doing this by right-clicking on the collection and choosing Export Collection, have you tried selecting all items and exporting that way, as adamsmith suggested above? (Both should produce identical results, but this would be helpful to know for troubleshooting.)

    3) What settings are you choosing in the export dialog?

    4) Do you have the recursiveCollections hidden preference enabled in the Config Editor in the Advanced pane of the Zotero preferences? (It's off by default.)

    Note that you don't need to import again to check if it's happening after trying some of the above — a RIS file is a text file, so you can open that in any text editor (e.g., TextEdit on macOS or Notepad on Windows) and search for titles to see if they're repeated.
  • Thanks to both of you. I got it to work by trying what Adam suggested. I selected all 1,051 records and exporting them. I did not get the same results by right-clicking on the collection and exporting. I got all the duplicates that way.

    The collection is in a Zotero group. Could that have been the issue. Maybe it was exported duplicates if I had the reference in both My Library and the Zotero Group.

    Any how, the problem is resolved and I really appreciate your help. I know can distribute the RIS to a large group of people.
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