Linking attachments by RIS import

Hi I am quite new here.
Up to now I used the old software Reference Manager 10.0.
I have about 2000 references with attachments in this database what I want to migrate under Zotero. Therefore I exported the database to RIS format, I replaced all the strange characters around the attachment path, and I could import the whole database into Zotero without loss of data.
My problem is: I want to keep my original directory structure for my attachments, and I really do not like Zotero's way of storing each attachment in another cryptic subdirectory. Therefore I would much prefer getting the attachments linked instead of imported by Zotero during RIS import.
Is there any way to tell Zotero by RIS import whether it should import the attachments into its directory structure or just make a link to an existing path?
Something Similar to the hidden web translator preference 'supplementaryAsLink' but for the RIS import?
  • no, not currently possible. Requested before and I think there is no general objection, but it's also not on anyone's immediate agenda:
    I'd assume patches are welcome, but before someone puts a lot of work into this, the general approach (mainly: how does a user select whether to import attachments as stored copies or links) should be discussed with Dan either here or on Zotero dev.
  • Thanks for the answer.
    As a user interface the easiest would be if someone introduced a new preference variable:
    just as by the web translator is the case.
    Of course, it would be even better, if this option were available for any import translator.
    I could also imagine as a "deluxe" solution that in case of import a small new dialog box appears (after the file selection) with this kind of radio button. But the first minimalistic solution would suffice.
  • hidden pref isn't going to fly. Dan doesn't like those much, for good reasons and certainly not for such a general feature. (you're also misunderstanding the supplementary pref - this will attach supplementary info for journal articles, so except that it's a translator preference, it's really not relevant here).
    Having a prompt on each import also seems unsatisfactory to me. Maybe a non-hidden pref could work, but the preferences are already rather crowded.
  • I had the same problem, I wrote a small library to import and link to the files so that I can keep the folder structure:
  • In my organisation we have a similar issue: if users want to migrate from their EndNote-database (with pdfs linked on a network drive), they need their RIS-records to be converted into zotero items with the original files linked (not attached).

    I believe many more users will be ready to switch to Zotero if this becomes possible.
  • "I believe many more users will be ready to switch to Zotero if this becomes possible. "
    Absolutely! I have been testing Zotero. I like it except the way it moves files and stores them in single, cryptically named folders. Thus, I stay with Endnote right now.....
  • I would add myself also to the list of interested people. This is crucial to enjoy all the pleasures of Zotero (I do not want to lose the directory structure that has taken years on years to build.), yet at the same time, seems so easy to do.
    So please have a go? :)

    The add-on built to work with zotfile (in the different thread - )unfortunately does not install on a current version of Zotero anymore.

    However things may not be looking as promising as it has been asked already many times, e.g.

    The last one includes a possible answer that may do the trick via a python script, but trying on the stand-alone this requires a few extra steps for me, and I may be able to comment on this only later.
  • Many thanks to anyone who would take up the issue of course!

  • I'm not sure if everyone knows this now—I found this thread while Googling the same problem—but Zotfile does this almost perfectly. Install it, tell it where to move your files to (I chose the same folder my existing files were already in), then import the .ris file. Instead of copying into your Zotero storage folder, Zotfile will copy and rename the pdfs to the specified folder and attach them as links to the .ris entries. Then just delete the originals. You lose out on Mendeley annotations, but I'm starting to think that's a losing battle.
  • I was struggling with exactly the same issue (moving from EndNote). Was quite disappointed when I realized there is no supported way how to migrate my pdf links as actual links.

    At the end I solved it by connecting to zotero.sqlite file as to db and updated automatically all attachments as I needed. It is not the way I hoped for, but with a bit of programming background it is relatively straightforward (I used F# + SqlProvider).
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