How do I import from another reference manager [EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero, Refworks, Reference Manager]

You can import existing libraries from other reference managers with a few simple steps. 

TIP: For the most seamless library transfer, please be on the same computer as you have your other reference manager. Before transfer, ensure you have all of your papers downloaded locally to ensure they are visible for ReadCube Papers to transfer to your new library.

Papers 3

Check our library transfer guide here.


Use our Endnote Importer for the ReadCube Papers desktop app.

If you are unable to download the desktop and would like to import via the web app, open EndNote and in the top menu select "File" and then "Export". Leave "Save file type" as Text Only. Change "Output style" to BibTex (.bib) export. Change the extension of the file name to be .bib(IE MyLibrary.bib instead of .txt). Take the .bib export file and drag it into ReadCube Papers app.

screenshot of Endnote export in Windows


Using the Papers desktop, go to the Add+ menu at the top of the library and choose the dropdown option for Zotero library. We will automatically locate the Zotero database on your local drive. If you have multiple Zotero databases (uncommon), you have the option of using the browse option to select the correct database. 

By default, we will import into your personal library (“My Papers”), but you can use the drop-down to import into an existing shared library if you’d prefer (even to a specific list too). 


First, select the reference(s) that you want to export. Go to the File menu - Export. Select .bib as the file type. If you have PDFs stored in the Mendeley cloud, you'll need to install the Mendeley desktop so you can easily access your PDF files locally. Select all of your PDFs from your Mendeley library folder on your desktop and drag it into ReadCube Papers app. Having trouble? View our step-by-step guide.


Select the references you would like to export. Select "Export" from the "References" menu. Select BibTeX as Export Format, click" Export References". Take the .bib export file and drag it into ReadCube Papers app.


First, go to "Attachments" in the left menu of Bookends. Select any attachment in the list and right-click and select "Show attachment in FInder". This will open the folder where all of your PDFs are stored. Select all of the physical PDFs from that folder and drag those into the ReadCube Papers app.  Next, go to "HIts" in the left menu and select the references.  Go to File > Export References (Hits) in the top menu bar and select export type as XML. In ReadCube Papers desktop, click on Add+ in the top bar of the library window and browse to select the XML file.


Go to Settings > Export to export your complete library to RIS or Bibtex. Drag the metadata file into your Papers library window or use the Add+ button at top of the library to add select the file from your desktop. If you also store PDFs in Paperpile, you will want to download those PDFs locally or use the Google Drive desktop file manager to view them on your desktop. Select and drag the local PDFs into the app to match the PDFs with the metadata.


Open Sciwheel in your browser. Select all the citations in your library by clicking on All References in the sidebar, checking the box under "All" to select citations, then selecting All References from the drop-down menu. Once selected, click the icon two buttons over that looks like a box with an arrow pointing inside of it. Then select Export as... from the drop-down menu. Next, name your file and select the format RIS from the dropdown menu.Select Download File. The file will automatically go to your "Downloads" folder. You can drag the RIS file into the Papers library view to import or use the Add+ button at the top to select the downloaded file from your downloads folder.

Please note:

  • Your folder structure from your old reference manager will not carry over. That data is not included in export files. To keep your library structure, create a new list in ReadCube Papers using the + icon in the lower-left part of the screen and export contents of specific folders from your original reference manager using the steps above.

Remember, if you have any issues please feel free to contact us at ReadCube Papers Support!

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