RIS File Format

General Information
An RIS file is a plain text file that can contain multiple references. RIS files can be exported from reference software such as EndNote and Reference Manager. Each reference is composed of a variable number of fields; and each field is preceded by a six-character label or "tag." Some tags are specific only to certain reference types. Each tag must be in a specific format, and certain other rules apply to all tags. Refer to to the RIS Format Specification for more information.

Upon upload, we will automatically look in Web of Science for matches to the uploaded records and will obtain the number of citing articles for each record found. For records found in Web of Science, ResearcherID will be able to calculate Citation Metrics and perform functions in ResearcherID "Labs."

Supported Reference Types

The RIS upload functionality of accepts all 35 RIS Refernce Types (TY):

Field Name Reference Type
ABST Abstract
ADVS Audiovisual material
ART Art Work
BILL Bill/Resolution
BOOK Book, Whole
CHAP Book chapter
COMP Computer program
CONF Conference proceeding
CTLG Catalog
DATA Data file
ELEC Electronic Citation
GEN Generic
HEAR Hearing
ICOMM Internet Communication
INPR In Press
JFULL Journal (full)
JOUR Journal
MGZN Magazine article
MPCT Motion picture
MUSIC Music score
NEWS Newspaper
PAMP Pamphlet
PAT Patent
PCOMM Personal communication
RPRT Report
SER Serial (Book, Monograph)
SOUND Sound recording
STAT Statute
THES Thesis/Dissertation
UNBILl Unenacted bill/resolution
UNPB Unpublished work
VIDEO Video recording

Each of these Reference Types supports various data fields. Not all of the supported data fields are displayed in ResearcherID.

File Format

Refer to to the RIS Format Specification for more information.

Tags in an RIS file are six-characters, in the format:

Character 1 Uppercase alphabetic character, specific to each field type.
Character 2 Uppercase alphabetic or numeric character, specific to each field type.
Characters 3 and 4 Spaces (ANSI 32)
Character 5 Dash (ANSI 45)
Character 6 Space (ANSI 32)

Each tag and its contents must be on a separate line, preceded by a "carriage return/line feed" (ANSI 13 10).

Except for the first tag of each reference, which must be "TY  - " (type of reference) and the last tag of each reference, which must be "ER  - " (end of reference), the tags within each reference can be in any order.

Refer to for more information about the RIS file format.

Sample Reference
Here is a sample reference from an RIS file. An RIS file can contain multiple references. Refer to for more information and samples.

A1  - Baldwin,S.A.
A1  - Fugaccia,I.
A1  - Brown,D.R.
A1  - Brown,L.V.
A1  - Scheff,S.W.
T1  - Blood-brain barrier breach following cortical contusion in the rat
JO  - Journal of Neurosurgery
Y1  - 1996
VL  - 85
SP  - 476
EP  - 481
ER  -


Note about the UR tag (for Web/URL In the RIS file): Use the pipe ("|") character without spaces instead of the semicolon to separate multiple URLs.

Possible Errors
The following scenarios will result in the entire RIS file being rejected:

  1. File is in binary format.
  2. Tag syntaxes are incorrect.
  3. The file is too large (there is a 1 MB file size limit).
Published by Thomson Reuters