How do I import references into Zotero, EndNote, or other citation management program from the Web, PDF, or a Word document?




Using the Citation Finder (formerly known as macropus, formerly known as HubMed), reference lists from PDFs, or Word documents can be converted into search results and then imported into bibliographic management software such as Zotero or EndNote.

Note: this tool only works with citations which can be found in PubMed

Step by Step

Step by Step: 
Create a File of Citations from Your Document 

1. Go to the Citation Finder site.

2. Copy and paste your references from Word or PDF where it indicates "Enter a list of citations".

3. When asked to choose a citation format, choose RIS (Endnote, etc)

4. Click Search. It will look like nothing happened, but scroll down. WAIT until the system finishes searching (e.g. the very last citation has a suggestion in yellow).

5. Now you will Review the matched citations. For each citation, you'll see your entry at the top, with the most likely matched citation below it in yellow.
  - If it is a correct match, do nothing.
  - If one of the other citations matches, click it.
  - If the yellow citation is incorrect, click on the yellow box to de-select.

NOTE: the suggested citation may not display all the fields, that's OK - your final citation will typically contain the correct information and you can edit.

5. WAIT! For some reason the citations will not be ready to export for several minutes!! We are not sure why!

6. After you've waited a few minutes, click on the Download All Selected Citations Button.

7. A file named citations.ris will be downloaded to your computer.

Import the RIS file of your Citations into Zotero

  1. Open the Zotero program/app on your computer.
  2. Under File, select Import:
    screenshot of Zotero menu
  3. In the Import window, leave A file, (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.) selected. Click on Next.
  4. Find the citations.ris file you downloaded above and click on Open.
  5. From the Import window, leave the choices as is (e.g. leave Place imported collections and items into new collection checked) and click on Next.
  6. Wait while your files are imported. When completed, your Import window will display Import Complete and the number of items imported. Click on Finish.
  7. Your Zotero will now have a new Collection (aka folder) called citations (which was the same name as the file downloaded above) with the references that were successfully saved from your bibliography.


Additional assistance is available to UVA Health System faculty, staff, and students. Just Ask Us - we are happy to provide help via email, phone, or in-person.

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