RIS (file format)

RIS is a standardized tag format developed by Research Information Systems, Incorporated (the format name refers to the company) to enable citation programs to exchange data.[1] It is supported by a number of reference managers. Many digital libraries, like IEEE Xplore, Scopus, the ACM Portal, Scopemed, ScienceDirect, SpringerLink, Rayyan, Accordance Bible Software,[2] and online library catalogs can export citations in this format. Citation management applications such as BibDesk, RefWorks, Zotero, Citavi, Papers, Mendeley, and EndNote can export and import citations in this format.

The RIS file format—two letters, two spaces and a hyphen—is a tagged format for expressing bibliographic citations. According to the specifications,[3][4][5] the lines must end with the ASCII carriage return and line feed characters. Note that this is the convention on Microsoft Windows, while in other contemporary operating systems, particularly Unix, the end of line is typically marked by line feed only.

Multiple citation records can be present in a single RIS file. A record ends with an "end record" tag ER - with no additional blank lines between records.

This is an example of how the article "Claude E. Shannon. A mathematical theory of communication. Bell System Technical Journal, 27:379–423, July 1948" would be expressed in the RIS file format:

TY - JOUR
AU - Shannon, Claude E.
PY - 1948
DA - July
TI - A Mathematical Theory of Communication
T2 - Bell System Technical Journal
SP - 379
EP - 423
VL - 27
ER - 

This is an example of how two citation records would be expressed in a single RIS file. Note the first record ends with ER - and the second record begins with TY - JOUR:

TY - JOUR
AU - Shannon, Claude E.
PY - 1948
DA - July
TI - A Mathematical Theory of Communication
T2 - Bell System Technical Journal
SP - 379
EP - 423
VL - 27
ER - TY - JOUR
T1 - On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem
A1 - Turing, Alan Mathison
JO - Proc. of London Mathematical Society
VL - 47
IS - 1
SP - 230
EP - 265
Y1 - 1937
ER - 

There are two major versions of the RIS specification.[4][5] The second version, introduced near the end of 2011 has different lists of tags for each type of record, sometimes with different meanings.[5] Below is an excerpt of the main RIS tags, from both versions. Except for TY - and ER -, order of tags is free and their inclusion is optional.