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Cornell University

Citation managers for scientists, engineers and mathematicians: Databases

Exporting references from databases


The following are the best ways to export citations into reference managers from popular science databases: 

Please note:  As of 12/31/15, Cornell will no longer be supporting RefWorks.  Please contact a librarian for transitioning to a different system.

Jump to: [ADS] [arxiv] [IEEE] [Inspec/Compendex] [MathSciNet] [Reaxys] [SciFinder]


Zotero: Two ways: You can click "create item from current page", but for best results use "add item by identifier".  ADS records usually have a DOI that will work for this.

Mendeley: Direct import into Mendeley is available in ADS Labs only. For other ADS records, use Mendeley's bookmarklet (installed in your preferred browswer) to import to Mendeley web. If you use Mendeley desktop, make sure to sync your libraries.


Zotero: If authors have updated their records to include the published version, there might be a DOI available to do the "add item by identifier", but that is not available on all papers.  If no, use "create item from current page". 

Mendeley: arXiv has a bookmark link available right on arXiv item page for Mendeley.


Zotero: For IEEE records usually have a DOI, use "add item by identifier".  If no DOI,  "create item from current page".

Mendeley: Use the web bookmarklet works, or download records, pick a format then import that into Mendeley.



Zotero: For INSPEC records usually have a DOI, use "add item by identifier".  If not, "create item from current page".

Mendeley: Mendeley bookmarklet may not always add all the proper citation information. When it does not, one can also choose Download / Mendeley.



Zotero: You can always create item from new page or manually import PDF. If you go to the journal publisher page and find get a DOI, you can "add item by identifier". (The item record on MathSciNet usually don't display DOIs which is why you may need to find it from the journal publisher page).

Mendeley: The Mendeley bookmarklet doesn' to work. Download bibtex records and import into Mendeley.


Zotero: Search results don't display DOIs so you may need to go to the publisher link to get that information.  Search results don't import well using "create item from current page" either.  

Mendeley: Can select multiple or a single search results and "Output" to Literature Management System and import into Mendeley. Bookmarklet won't work in Reaxys, but may work on publisher site.



Zotero: add item by DOI if that's listed on the SciFinder item page.  Beware when using "create item from current page" since items displayed are not from a stable URL, but the URL that comes up when you cilck on "link" is. Probably best to upload with the DOI/item identifier.

Mendeley: Mendeley bookmarklet doesn't work.  Export multiple items and import into Mendeley, or get the publisher PDF.


Web of Science

  • Click Save to Other File Formats; Choose BibTeX.
  • Click on file at bottom of browser; click Show in Finder.
  • Drag file into the middle pane of Mendeley Desktop. Click Sync. Then it will update Mendeley Web.


Note: If your preferred database does not export to your citation manager format, you can often save the PDF to your computer and manually add to your citation manager.

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