How to import a bibliography from an existing MS Word document into Mendeley

Neither EndNote nor RefWorks can “read” citations from an existing bibliography in a Word document not formatted using a citation management application. An earlier postdescribed methods to transfer references to an EndNote library from a bibliography formatted in Word. However, there is another way to do this using a free online service called WizFolio which can easily convert a pre-existing bibliography into an RIS-formatted file. You then  import the RIS file into EndNote or RefWorks.

Here are the steps:

1. Go to the  WizFolio home page:








2. Select Sign Up Now and create a free Wizfolio account.  Once you have the account, you can log in back at the home page:


3. Open your Word document and select your entire bibliography:











4. In your WizFolio account hold your mouse over the Add icon toward the top center of the Wizfolio window.  Select Import from Clipboard:









5. Paste your text into the box  that opens. You should  see Wizfolio inserting blank lines between the references in your bibliography:



6.  After WizFolio has inserted the spaces, click the Import Now button in the lower right corner of the page. WizFolio will attempt to locate and import records from PubMed and other sources:









7.  Select all the citations you’ve just imported. Click the Export button at the top of the page then select Export to RIS:


8.  Save the file.  It will be called MyReferences.ris.


1.  Open Mendeley.

2.  Locate the MyReferences.ris file and open it.  It should import directly into Mendeley:



3.  If it does not directly import into Endnote, import using the Import function using   Reference Manager (RIS) as your Import Option.



Be certain to check that all the information has been correctly imported.

1 thought on “How to import a bibliography from an existing MS Word document into Mendeley

  1. traffic people

    EndNote cannot directly import existing bibliographies that you typed in a Word document because it does not know how to break down the references into their component parts (author, year, title, etc). However, you can copy your pre-existing bibliographies into WizFolio , import from clipboard, and then export as .ris format. You then import the RIS file into EndNote.


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