RIS File Extension

RIS file icon
Research Information Systems Citation Format
  • Developer
    Research Information Systems
  • Popularity
    3.8 (27 votes)

What is RIS file?

File with RIS extension contains information about cited publications or references to them, saved in text format developed by Research Information Systems in 2008. The format was created to standardize the data exchange between various citation software tools. RIS file has a size limit of 1MB. It uses human-readable syntax and can be opened using any text editor. Single RIS file can hold information about one or more publications. Each publication referenced in RIS files must be tagged using two tags:

  • TY – type of publication,
  • ER – new line, transition to next publication.

The format is based around 6-character structure for each new line. First two characters define the type of field (tag), next two are whitespace character, followed by a hyphen and whitespace character. Each line must end with MS Windows newline characters - CR and LF. There are various types of tags used in RIS files, for example:

  • AU, A1, A2, A3, A4 – authors of given publication
  • AB – an abstract,
  • L1, L2, L3 – various types of links,
  • SP, EP – page numbers of start and end page,
  • TI, T1, T2, T3, TT – titles,
  • VL – volume number,
  • Y1, Y2 – dates,

Some tags are constrained by length limits or type od data they may hold, but there are no in regard to tag order. For types of publications - references, the shortcuts listed in file specification can be used. Many various applications and systems use RIS citations files, including digital libraries and library catalogues.

Programs which support RIS file extension

Below you will find an index of software programs that can be used to open RIS files divided into 3 categories according to system platform supported. Files with RIS suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Programs that support RIS file

How to open file with RIS extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening RIS files on given system. What is important, all common issues related to files with RIS extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Install EndNote software

The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening RIS files is that no program that can handle RIS files is installed on user’s system. The most obvious solution is to download and install EndNote or one to the listed programs: BibDesk, Wandora, Reference Manager. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. The safest method of downloading EndNote installed is by going to developer’s website (Thomson Reuters) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Check the version of EndNote and update if needed

You still cannot access RIS files although EndNote is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. This can be one of the causes why RIS files are not compatible with EndNote. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using EndNote.

Step 3. Assign EndNote to RIS files

If the issue has not been solved in the previous step, you should associate RIS files with latest version of EndNote you have installed on your device. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Selecting the first-choice application in Windows

  • Right-click the RIS file and choose Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • Finally select Look for another app on this PC, point to the folder where EndNote is installed, check the Always use this app to open RIS files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button

Selecting the first-choice application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the RIS file and select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select EndNote and click Change for all...
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with RIS extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Verify that the RIS is not faulty

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the RIS file is valid. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

1. Check the RIS file for viruses or malware

If the RIS is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. If the RIS file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

If you obtained the problematic RIS file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. When downloading the file with RIS extension from the internet an error may occurred resulting in incomplete file. Try downloading the file again.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Research Information Systems Citation Format file again.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run EndNote

If the systems has insufficient resources to open RIS files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Research Information Systems Citation Format file. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle RIS files.

Conversion of a RIS file

File Conversions from RIS extension to a different format
File conversions from other format to RIS file
Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the RIS file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on RIS file.

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