Another one bites the dust…

There are a number of potentially useful reference management tools on the web – Mendeley, CiteULike, Zotero and Connotea spring to mind.  The best of these offer a range of other services, such as full text uploads, social bookmarking and a variety of other networking opportunities for researchers.

But can you trust these sites? Will your data be secure and are you sure that you will be able to access them when you need to?

I have recently received an email from, the organisation behind Connotea.  I am told that Connotea is to close on March 12th.  Fortunately the site is providing an export tool to enable me to extract my references and (hopefully) import them to another reference management product.   If I had been relying on Connotea to store and manage my bibliographic references this would be inconvenient but not disastrous; but I am completely dependent upon‘s willingness to provide me with an exit strategy.

So message for today – if you are using Connotea then export your data as soon as possible (following the instructions below); if you are using any other free web service then make sure you have backup copies of your data.  To be fair, all of the tools I’ve named above have the facility to export references in a standard format – just make sure you do this (and check that you can import the resulting file to its new home) – just in case.’s instructions for exporting data from Connotea:Connotea logo

The Connotea Export Tool will convert your bookmarks into two formats that should be compatible with most common browsers or reference management systems:

  • HTML – compatible with most browsers
  • RIS – compatible with most reference management systems.

You will be able to log in to the Connotea Export Tool by using your Connotea username and password and following the instructions on screen.  Once you have downloaded your HTML and/or RIS file, please refer to the instructions for your browser and/or reference management system to import your bookmarks.

As Connotea stores a large amount of data, in some cases it may take over an hour for your bookmarks file to be generated. If you experience any problems with exporting your bookmarks, or have any other questions or queries, please contact Marta Rolak at


Posted on February 1, 2013, in Library and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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