RIS (file format)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Filename extension .ris
Internet media type application/x-research-info-systems
Type of format Bibliography

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, and SpringerLink, can export citations in this format.


The RIS file format — two letters, two spaces and a dash — is a tagged format for expressing bibliographic citations. According to the specifications,[2] 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, end of line is typically marked by line feed only.

Example record[edit]

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:

AU  - Shannon,Claude E.
PY  - 1948/07//
TI  - A Mathematical Theory of Communication
JO  - Bell System Technical Journal
SP  - 379
EP  - 423
VL  - 27
ER  - 


Excerpt of main RIS tags. Except for TY and ER, order of tags is free and their inclusion is optional.

TY  - Type of reference (must be the first tag)
A1 - First Author
A2  - Secondary Author (each author on its own line preceded by the tag)
A3  - Tertiary Author (each author on its own line preceded by the tag)
A4  - Subsidiary Author (each author on its own line preceded by the tag)
AB  - Abstract
AD  - Author Address
AN  - Accession Number
AU  - Author (each author on its own line preceded by the tag)
C1  - Custom 1
C2  - Custom 2
C3  - Custom 3
C4  - Custom 4
C5  - Custom 5
C6  - Custom 6
C7  - Custom 7
C8  - Custom 8
CA  - Caption
CN  - Call Number
CY  - Place Published
DA  - Date
DB  - Name of Database
DP  - Database Provider
EP  - End Page
ET  - Edition
IS  - Number 
J2  - Alternate Title (this field is used for the abbreviated title of a book or journal name, the latter mapped to T2)
KW  - Keywords (keywords should be entered each on its own line preceded by the tag)
L1  - File Attachments (this is a link to a local file on the users system not a URL link)
L4  - Figure (this is also meant to be a link to a local file on the users's system and not a URL link)
LA  - Language
LB  - Label
M1  - Number
M3  - Type of Work
N1  - Notes
NV  - Number of Volumes
OP  - Original Publication
PB  - Publisher
PY  - Year
RI  - Reviewed Item
RN  - Research Notes
RP  - Reprint Edition
SE  - Section
SP  - Start Page
ST  - Short Title
T1  - Primary Title
T2  - Secondary Title (journal title, if applicable)
T3  - Tertiary Title
TA  - Translated Author
TI  - Title
TT  - Translated Title
VL  - Volume
Y2  - Access Date

ER  - End of Reference (must be empty and the last tag)

Type of reference[edit]

Type of reference preceded by the TY - tag can abbreviated as follows:

ABST  - Abstract
ADVS  - Audiovisual material
AGGR  - Aggregated Database
ANCIENT - Ancient Text
ART   - Art Work
BILL  - Bill
BLOG  - Blog
BOOK  - Whole book
CASE  - Case
CHAP  - Book chapter
CHART - Chart
CLSWK - Classical Work
COMP  - Computer program
CONF  - Conference proceeding
CPAPER - Conference paper
CTLG  - Catalog
DATA  - Data file
DBASE - Online Database
DICT  - Dictionary
EBOOK - Electronic Book
ECHAP - Electronic Book Section
EDBOOK - Edited Book
EJOUR - Electronic Article
ELEC  - Web Page
ENCYC - Encyclopedia
EQUA  - Equation
FIGURE - Figure
GEN   - Generic
GOVDOC - Government Document
GRANT - Grant
HEAR  - Hearing
ICOMM - Internet Communication
INPR  - In Press
JFULL - Journal (full)
JOUR  - Journal
LEGAL - Legal Rule or Regulation
MANSCPT - Manuscript
MAP   - Map
MGZN  - Magazine article
MPCT  - Motion picture
MULTI - Online Multimedia
MUSIC - Music score
NEWS  - Newspaper
PAMP  - Pamphlet
PAT   - Patent
PCOMM - Personal communication
RPRT  - Report
SER   - Serial publication
SLIDE - Slide
SOUND - Sound recording
STAND - Standard
STAT  - Statute
THES  - Thesis/Dissertation
UNPB  - Unpublished work
VIDEO - Video recording


  1. ^ The origin of the name RIS was obtained via email from Henry Johnson, a Customer Technical Representative at Scientific Thomson Reuters. Research Information Systems was owned by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). RIS, the creators of Reference Manager which had also previously bought ProCite from Personal Bibliographic Software Inc, merged with Niles software, the creators of EndNote. The result of the merger was the creation of ISI ResearchSoft, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters, which produces Reference Manager, EndNote and ProCite. Email date 7/3/08.
  2. ^ ResearcherID.com upload help

External links[edit]