Importing RIS: "the selected file is not in a supported format"

I keep getting this error when trying to import RIS files.

I've tried the following without any luck
- resetting translators
- moving files into the 'Storage' folder on my Mac (OSX 12.4)
- multiple character encoding formats from the source site
- hard setting the encoding to UTF-8 and importing a UTF-8 encoded file

I can open the files with a text editor

Any ideas?
  • edited July 9, 2022
    I presume that you mean using Zotero File/Import.

    Please verify that the extension is not ".ris.txt" in your Mac file system or some similar thing.


    Where did you obtain / download the RIS file?

    Please copy the first 10 lines of the file and paste them here. (It could be that the "RIS file" is not actually in the proper RIS format.)
  • (the file extension doesn't matter -- .txt would work as long as the content is RIS) We do want the two other bits of information, though.
  • DO - 10.1016/B978-012109890-2/50032-9
    ID - ctx4044736570002363
    T1 - On the structure of behavioral self-regulation
    ER -
  • Yeah, that's no good -- every RIS entry needs to start with a TY - tag to mark the item type (and the beginning of a new item). We don't recognize it as RIS otherwise.
    If you want to you could manually add that at the top of each entry (using some soft of search&replace: here are the possible values
  • Thanks Adam
    I'll keep that in mind.
    For one-offs like the example, it's probably easier to add by identifier.
  • I had a file that was giving me the same issue. I opened it in Notepad (Windows 11) and there was a TY tag, but it wasn't at the top for some reason. Moved it to the top, saved, and imported again with no issue. I should let my library know since it seems to be consistent.
  • Yeah, Zotero only looks in the first four lines of a file currently. That's usually not an issue, but if this commonly doesn't work from some databases, we can certainly consider doing something more generous or fancier.
  • If you give us the URL of your library's catalog, we can update the Connector to add an automatic fix. (You should be importing items using the Save to Zotero toolbar button, not downloading RIS manually, if the site you're on is supported - and if it isn't, report it!)
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