You can import bibliographic references and related source files from Citavi, Mendeley, EndNote, Zotero, and RefWorks:
referenced source files present in (or linked to from) the originating reference management tools are imported as data files
references without linked source files have externals automatically created for them Externals
the bibliographic reference data is imported as file classification attribute values for the data files or externals Classifications
reference abstracts, keywords and notes can be imported into linked memos (in addition to becoming attribute values, in the case of abstracts and keywords).
Bibliography reference files in RIS or XML format can be imported.
If files referenced in an imported bibliography are already in your NVivo project,
If you create a bibliography in NVivo using file classifications, you can export the data in RIS or TXT format to import into any of the above-named tools.
- On the Import tab, in the Bibliography menu, select the reference management tool you want to import references from.
- Locate the file to import, and open into the
Import from ..... dialog box.
- Set the import options:
- File encoding For .ris and .txt files NVivo usually detects the correct file encoding, however, if there are strange characters in the reference information after import, try a different encoding.
- Name by Select how imported data files and automatically created externals are named—by title or author and year.
- Assign to Select to assign all imported bibliographical data to the Reference classification (recommended), or to different classifications according to the data type, e.g. journal article, book.
The remaining options determine how the references are linked to data files which may or may not already be in NVivo.
NOTE You can apply the same rules for all the imported references or treat each reference differently—click Advanced at the bottom of the dialog box.
- Already linked This option only applies to EndNote data. It displays the number of references previously imported from the same EndNote library. Select whether to replace a) current attribute values and b) current memo contents with abstract, keywords and notes (if you have your own notes in memos, these will be lost).
- To be linked The number of references in the import file with titles exactly matching data files already in the project is shown. By default, the references are all automatically linked to the files (or use Advanced to link or not link individual references). Select whether to replace current attribute values and memo contents for references already linked to these files, and whether or not to assign classification attributes to the memos.
- Import new The number of references in the import file with titles that do not match data files already in the project is shown. Select whether to add new references and select folders to place imported data files and automatically created externals. You can select to import other file attachments linked to references, create memos with reference abstracts, keywords and notes, and assign classification attributes to the memos.
Optionally click Advanced to set the above options independently for individual references (see below).
- Click Import.
- File descriptions are only 512 characters. To ensure complete reference abstracts are imported, select to create memos during import. This also allows you to code and query the abstract.
- If you want to import file attachments and figures from EndNote, make sure the EndNote reference library is available on your computer (or on a network drive), so that NVivo can extract the files and figures.
- Files attached using the RefWorks 'attachment feature' (available with institutional licenses only) cannot be exported from RefWorks via the RIS file, so they cannot be imported into NVivo.
If data files for imported references are already in your NVivo project, you can link the references to the files even if their titles are different (which means that they cannot be linked automatically).
CAUTION If the existing files have linked memos and you choose to replace memo contents with abstract, keywords and notes, you will lose existing content in the memos. To keep this content, before importing, unlink the current memo and create a see-also link to connect it to the file—it is retained and the newly imported abstract, keywords and notes are written to a new linked memo.
After you have opened an import file in the Import from .... dialog box:
- Click Advanced.
- Locate the references that you want to match to files and:
- Under Matched Files, select <Select Existing>.
- Select the file to be matched to the reference and click OK.
- Select whether to replace existing attribute values, replace existing memos, and whether to link classifications to memos for the references. Click OK.
- Click Import.
- When matching references to existing files, NVivo matches based on their EndNote ID (if available), otherwise NVivo matches on title (default) or author and year (when this is selected in the Name files by list).
- If the reference that you manually match to a file contains an attachment, URL or reference, these will not be imported as content in order to preserve your existing file. However, the reference data is stored as attribute values on the file.
For each imported reference NVivo checks whether a matching file already exists—if there is no matching file an external is created. Matching files in the exporting tool are imported along with their reference data.
By default, imported files are named by publication title but you can use author and year of the publication.
Imported files and automatically created externals are assigned a file classification, where their bibliographic reference information is stored as attribute values.
By default, all files and externals are assigned the Reference classification. This allows you to see all your references in a single classification sheet. It also allows you to use common attributes to create queries on different types of literature—for example, all references published in a particular year.
Alternatively, you can create separate file classifications for each reference type—for example, Journal Article, Book etc.
The reference information is imported as follows:
- Title (or author and year) is used to name the file—this information is also stored as attribute values on the file.
- The abstract becomes the description of the file. It can also be imported into a linked memo so you can code and query it. Importing abstracts in memos also ensures that the complete abstracts are imported—the description field is limited to 512 characters.
- Keywords are imported as attribute values on the file. They can also be imported into a linked memo.
- Notes are optionally imported into a linked memo—if you do not select this option then they are not imported.
- All other reference information—for example, journal and volume—is stored as attribute values for the file.
Under default options, references are imported into NVivo as shown below.
- A file (containing the content of the file attachment) is created when the reference includes a file attachment that can be imported into NVivo, otherwise an external file is created (containing no content).
- If there are multiple items in a reference field—for example, multiple authors—they are separated by a semicolons within the attribute value.
- Attribute values can store up to 255 characters—text after the first 255 characters is not imported.
- If you have a very large reference library it may take some time to import into NVivo—consider importing smaller groups of references.
When you import references, you can choose to import content from file attachments, file URLs (file://host/path) and figures.
If you choose not to import content, then the reference is imported as an external, with a link to the file. The reference information is stored as attribute values on the external.
If you choose to import content, where possible, NVivo imports the file as a new file—for example, as a PDF or picture file. The reference information is stored as attribute values on the new file.
If for any reason a file cannot be imported, then NVivo creates an external to represent the file attachment. The reference information is stored as attribute values on the new external, and the external has a link to the file. Files cannot be imported when:
- The file is password or copy-protected—PDFs are sometimes protected.
- The file is not in a supported format. Files
- The file cannot be accessed—for example, the reference library is not on your computer or cannot be accessed across your network.
Only one file attachment, URL or figure per reference can be imported into NVivo. For example, if a reference contains multiple file attachments, then, by default, the first file attachment is imported
- In the Navigation View, under Data, click File Classifications or a sub-folder.
- Select one or more file references to export.
- On the Share tab, in the Export menu, click Export Bibliography, and then choose a reference management tool.
- (Optional) Change the name or location of the exported file.
- Click Save.
If you are exporting a large amount of data, the export may take a few minutes—monitor progress in the Status bar at the bottom of the NVivo window.
- You can only export classifications that have a bibliographical ID (created by adding one of the predefined bibliographical classifications to your project). The bibliographical ID is displayed in the classification properties. To view the properties, select the classification, and then click the Properties image, in the Item group, in the Home tab.
- Custom attributes are ignored—only values stored in attributes with a Bibliographical ID can be exported.
- When you import the XML file into EndNote, select 'EndNote generated XML' in the import options.
- When you import the RIS file into RefWorks, select 'RIS Format' as the import format.