Merging Zotero and Endnote reference lists in a Word document

Hi All
I've now worked on a couple of different research papers with colleagues who use EndNote, and we usually end up with two reference lists.
Short of importing the EndNote references into my Zotero library and then individually changing the citation codes in Word, does anyone know some cheeky work-arounds to merge the EndNote/Zotero referencing into one list/format?
Many thanks in advance!
  • Just so you don't think no one is reading these -- it'd be nice to have a solution, but I don't think there's anything that works.
    One thing to try could be RTF Scan: but I don't think it's quite reliable enough to work well and I believe the Endnote equivalent requires some type of citation number, so you couldn't insert citations from Zotero.
  • Thanks for the suggestion, adamsmith, and for the reply. Might be worth a try before knuckling down and merging lists manually.
  • @jova0012 If you find a workable solution, please let me know. Thanks.
  • Since it looks like EndNote embeds item metadata in Word documents nowadays (see e.g., it might be possible to create a Zotero plugin that: 1) extracts the item metadata from all EndNote citations in a Word document, 2) imports that metadata into a new collection in your Zotero library, and 3) replaces the original EndNote citation with a Zotero citation. It would be a one-way conversion, but there would probably be quite some interest for something like this. Could extend it to do the same with Mendeley citations.
  • I have some colleagues that would love that!
  • Likewise @zurpher. Rintze, brilliant idea!!! Are there any Zotero users who know how to create plugins ....? There's obvious interest, and it being a one-way conversion would be no problem compared to the labour involved in manually merging references!
  • @Rintze Sounds great but who has got the skills and time to turn that into reality?
  • Yeah, there's usually the rub. To fully automate the conversion, it probably makes most sense to extend the official Zotero Word plugin (, which already interconnects Zotero and Word. That's written in C++ though, and not my cup of tea.

    Unless somebody else steps in, the best I can do is add a feature to Reference Extractor to do step 1 (extracting item metadata from EndNote fields in Word documents), per the GitHub issue above. You'd then still have to do steps 2 and 3 by hand, though.
  • @Rintze could you add an issue with the steps you listed to the plugin github? I'd be interested in working on it, but no promises on finding the time to do it.
  • edited December 4, 2016
    @bwiernik, I think Dan prefers it if we keep features requests on the Zotero forums, and only create GitHub issues for features we are certain the Zotero team is interested in adding.

    Dan, Simon, do you think there is any place in the official word processor plugins for a feature as described above, to automate the conversion EndNote/Mendeley citations to Zotero citations? As long as there is no cross-compatibility between citation fields from the various reference managers, it would be nice if Zotero had a way to migrate citation fields in word processor documents to the Zotero format.
  • I would love this feature too. I can't help make it but happy to test it if needed.
  • It is quite easy to create a combined reference list as a one way process- converting Zotero formatting to Endnote, and forming a combined reference list at the end in Endnote format as follows:
    I am assuming you are using MS word with the Endnote plugin.
    1. Make sure Zotero and Endnote have the same citations loaded- easy to do, export Zotero library in XML format and Import into Endnote.
    2. Load the document with mixed formatting from Zotero and Endnote.
    3. Select 'instant formatting on' in the Endnote X8 menu in word
    4. For each reference opening up in the dialogue window, delete all information except author name and year. Endnote will find the appropriate matching references in its database which you can now assign.
    5. Thats it.... Another way is to write a macro in word to find all formatting with the curly brackets and remove all information except the author name and year.

    Let me know if it works/doesn't work for you.
  • Babarvaqas, Ty. Any format on the citation style from zotero?

  • @Barbarvaqas Endnote isn't detecting the Zotero field codes, even when I prompt it to update the bibliography. Any advise?
  • @bkfields Endnote and Zotero fields aren't compatible. What they were suggesting was a workaround that I really wouldn't expect to work well.

    If you are using an author-date style, then just insert citations with both programs. At the end, remove all field codes from the document, then merge the reference lists together by putting all of the lines of references together and using Word's Sort feature.

    Otherwise, I recommend importing your Endnote library to Zotero ( then reinserting the citations with Zotero.
  • So the issue with author-date is that it does it with parenthesis, and then if I change the delimitor in Endnote it of course picks up all my parentheticals (not just my citations). The issue isn't transferring libraries, it's whether I can realistically reinsert hundreds of citations using endnote in any kind of efficient way. Do you have an other ideas? Thanks
  • I'm not following what you are saying about delimiters. What style are you using?
  • Any of the author date styles use (author-date). Endnote specifically looks for {} for citation formatting. You can change this of course to () but then every time anything is in parenthesis it asks for a citation match. I don't know any way to edit Zotero outputs easily (is the most infuriating thing about this program), so there's no easy way to change it to {author-date}, which would of course make this a lot easier.
  • That type of stuff really isn't hard to change in a Zotero citation style:
    Has the generall instructions. All you need to do is to find
    <layout prefix="(" suffix=")" delimiter="; ">
    (might looks slightly different)
    and change it to
    <layout prefix="{" suffix="}" delimiter="; ">

    Note the part about changing ID and title.

    You can do the same in the visual editor
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