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How can I import from Citavi?

The best format for importing records from Citavi into Zotero is Citavi XML. This format will important the item bibliographic metadata, as well as quotations, tasks, etc.

Citavi XML format

  1. In Citavi create a backup of your project. This option is in the “File” menu.
  2. The backup is saved in a file with the file ending with ctv5bak and lies normally in your home directory under Documents\Citavi 5\Backup, i.e. follow this format C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Citavi 5\Backup\<projectname>. Alternatively, you can look up the backup folder under Tools / Options / Folders and there click on “Open folder with Windows Explorer”, see https://www.citavi.com/sub/manual5/en/101_backing_up_your_projects.html.
  3. The ctv5bak file is a zip file, which cannot be processed directly. You must first unzip it and continue with resulting unzipped file.
  4. Rename the resulting *.ctv5 file into a *.xml file.
  5. Import this file in Zotero.

It is also possible to import attached files e.g. PDFs into Zotero. For that you have to make sure that they are in the same folder as the xml file you are importing. Citavi will save all attachments in the project folder, i.e. C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Citavi 5\Projects\<projectname>\Citavi Attachments. Copy them from there.

RIS format (alternative)

As an alternative to the above procedure, you can export your Citavi library in the RIS format. This format will only retain item bibliographic metadata. Any additional item elements, such as citations from the “knowledge management” functionalities in Citavi, will not be included.