Continuous (periodic) Mendeley import

I primarily use Mendeley for my reference management but I would like to use Zotero for citation formatting in documents as Mendeley is rather weak and particularly slow to improve on this feature. I currently use Zotero for checking and editing citation styles as well as for its library proxy management feature and hope that RTF scan will eventually improve and become a useful tool.

Hence, I would like to see Zotero implement a feature to continuously (periodically) monitor Mendeley database and update the Zotero database when new entries are present (one-way sync). I'm no developer, but I guess this would be possible via Mendeley's open APIs. A more generic, but I assume less reliable method, could be to periodically monitor a bibtex file since Mendeley can be setup to periodically update a bibtex file with the contents of the Mendeley library.

Although this would be great for me, I understand this may be considered too low impact for Zotero developers to take on as I have now idea how many others share my workflow. In that case, I would need to periodically, manually import the Mendeley-updated bibtex (or other) file into Zotero. How would this work the 2nd, 3rd, nth time I import the file (updated each time). Would Zotero ignore entres that are already in my zotero library and only import items added to the bibtex (or other) file since the last import? What is currently the most reliable file format to use for importing data from Mendeley?

Finally, I know a possibly solution could be to use Zotero to add references to the zotero database and then use Mendeley's feature for monitoring and imporing from Zotero (the opposite of what I am asking). But I have a preference for Mendeley's method of adding references/pdfs.
  • adding the same bibtex file multiple times will create (multiple) duplicates, so that's not going to be a great workflow.
    I wouldn't know how you can set this up conveniently - I guess you could just import the last bit of the bibtex file, sorting it by date added.

    As for the most reliable format - doesn't Mendeley output Zotero RDF? If not, bibtex is probably a good bet.

    Can't talk to your feature requests - the Mendeley monitoring seems ideally suited for a third party plugin, though and is likely to be too specific to be of great interest for Zotero core devs.
  • Thanks for the comments. I had not contemplated the 3rd party plugin opportunity. I will suggest that on Mendeley's forum in case there are any users who are capable of doing that.

    I don't think Mendeley has an Zotero RDF export feature. The formats I can see are are BibTex, RIS, and Endnote XML.
  • The format that Mendeley could export that would be most expressive is Bibliontology RDF; it can do everything that Zotero RDF can do, and it's an open, neutral standard.
  • ajlyon, thanks for the input. I had not heard of Bibliontology RDF. Just had a search and it seems someone has suggested it on Mendeley's feedback site, but not many votes from users yet.
  • of the formats you mention as currently available for export, from Mendeley, bibtex is clearly the best option. Zotero doesn't support Endnote XML and RIS is rather limited.
  • Is there a "Folder watch" function ?? this can solve the problem
  • Omian, thank you for posing this question. This is my workflow as well.

    Mendeley is unsurpassed, in my opinion, for allowing me to WORK WITH THE CONTENT of my PDFs (deeply search, re-find, group/collect, tag, annotate without permanence, etc.). However, in my opinion, as of June 21, 2012, Mendeley yet to sufficiently develop its citation and duplicate-detection features precisely, it seems.

    Did anyone ever find a solution/method/fix?

    Thanks in advance!
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