A plea from sente orphans

Hello endnote community, I have been using sente as my reference manager for some years now and have a huge library with lots of pdfs with lots of highlighting and notes. You may be aware that sente has stopped development and has been abandoned. This leaves all us sente orphans needing a new bibliographic home. I have tried to transfer references using a trial verison of endnote and looked at previous comments on this forum for advice, but had no luck. I tried all the different export and import functions in each programme with no success in transferring references consistently or any PDFs, let alone highlighting and notes.  

This comment is therefore a plea that Endnote might develop a ‘transfer from sente’ function which was reliable across thousands of references and can transfer pdfs, notes and highlighting. I’m sure there are lots of sente users in my position who would, like me, happily stump up the cash for endnote in a heartbeat if this option existed. Without it, we’re stuck.

Endnote - please rescue us!

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What exactly have you tried doing? If I recall correctly Sente had the capacity to export a library’s references and pdfs as an .xml file which in turn could be imported into Endnote – refer to this thread where user was migrating from Sente to Endnote. .

Thank you for your reply. I have tried that option but to no avail. I’ll have another go using the thread you suggested and see how I get on!

Could you also check and confirm what file formats (e.g. XML, RIS, etc.) Sente is capable of saving/exporting the library references? Could you also attach a small sample of records in the assorted file formats to permit testing?

do you resolve it now?

I think the problem is - - wants the PDFs transferred too?  

I am in the same boat, my Sente library has c. 10,000 references, all with PDFs. So I need, and would gladly pay for, a way to import the library with the PDF attachments (annotations not critical to me). Is there a way to script that? 

Leanne, the PDFs may be a separate issue depending upon what file formats Sente is able to save/export.

“paperback” and “sente-orphan”: can you identify what file formats Sente is able to save your library as and can you attach a small sample of 5-10 records with PDFs?

Thanks for writing back! Here are five recently added references, exported in all the formats my Sente supports.

“Refer” is just the reference information, with no information about the attachment, so I did not upload it.

“SenteXML” and “ENX” both have fields for the attachment location, and are OK with more than one attachment.

There are two BibTeX variants (one with Unicode) that I can’t preview easily and that the forum won’t let me support because it does not have the correct extension: (enz,ens,enf,xml,gif,jpg,jpeg,txt,zip), so I uploaded them both as a .zip.

SenteXML.xml (25.5 KB)
ENX.xml (23.7 KB)
BibTex.zip (9.32 KB)

Thanks, paperback, for the info and files. Will take a look and get back.

Here’s the overview:

  1. The Sente-generated Endnote XML file (EN6) could be imported into Endnote (desktop but not online) by using the “Endnote generated XML” import filter but the imported records did not contain the corresponding PDF.
  2. The Sente-generated Sente XML file (Sente) could not be imported into Endnote (desktop or online)…
  3. Both Bibtex files could be imported into Endnote but required constructing a new import filter as the current filter does not match the corresponding data tags in the Sente-generated Bibtex files. The file attachments may have been imported as well but could you test the PDFs which are on your computer. Would like to check this out before going any further.

Could you open the attached compressed Endnote library file which contains the five imported records and a test of the file attachments. The File Attachment field is linking the PDF to the path directory of your Sente library. I’d like to know if Endnote can locate and “pull” PDFs into the Endnote record based on the path directory. If it does, and the PDF can be opened from within EndNote then it verifies funneling the Sente path-link to Endnote’s “File Attachments” field.
Test Library.zip (157 KB)

Thanks for checking it out for me!

So Endnote can open the library and identify that there should be linked PDFs, but the links are broken. They seem to be truncated, and have an extra “,Sente” after the .pdf extension (see attached screen shot).

This is true of all the attachments.

Thanks for checking. The text file may need some minor adjustments but n the meantime, could you test importing the EN6 XML file into Endnote? I’m unclear if you went through this procedure so could you please recheck. This is to test whether the import filter can “pull-in “the PDFs into Endnote (which reside on your computer and coded in the EN6 XML file).

Go to the Endnote toolbar and select File >Import >File. In the pop-up File Import dialog box designate the import file as the EN6 file; the import filter as “Endnote generated XML”; you can leave duplicates as the default “import all” since we’re only importing five records; and leave the text translation as “No Translation”. (Refer to attached image for the setting.)
Endnote import file setting.gif

Thanks for the suggestion, I hadn’t gone through file->import file to open the test library but just double-clicked it.

When I import them the way you suggested, it doesn’t recognize the PDFs as attached files; instead it treats the PDFs as URLs to the file system (see fig). Even though the link looks truncated, when I click on the link it opens a Finder window with the correct PDF selected. So the entire file location is in there somewhere…

Thanks for checking. It’s good to know importing the XML file makes the PDFs accessible via the URL links but not from Endnote’s “File Attachments” field. But from a user’s perspective it seems the best solution is to be able to access the PDFs from the “File Attachments” field.

At this point, suggest you contact tech support to explain the problem and see if they can convert your Sente library with PDFS (imported in the File Attachments field) for you. And if they are able to provide a user-based solution for converting Sente libraries to Endnote could you post it? Thanks.

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    Thanks for helping out! At this point, I think I’ll take your suggestion and see if tech support can do anything. Being able to see the PDFs through the file system is better than nothing, but it would be much easier to browse PDFs if they opened in the same window. I’m also not sure how compatible that is with sync’ing my library with my iPad…

     If tech support can come up with anything, I will post it here. Thanks again!

Good news, tech support found a way to keep all the attached PDFs!

Pavithra from tech support came up with this workaround, and I modified it to account for multiple PDFs.

When Sente exports to the EndNote XML format, the file attachment information gets exported to a field in the XML file that imports into the URL field for EndNote. This is just how Sente exports to EndNote XML.

However I was able to come up with a workaround to convert the URL field to File attachments field in EndNote. However this workaround will apply only if you have both the programs on the same system.

To Export from Sente:

  1. Open your Sente database
  2. Click on the File menu and select Export
  3. Pick a name and location for the export file
  4. Change the Format to EndNote XML
  5. Click Export

To Import to EndNote:

  1. Open EndNote and create a new library (File > New) or open an existing EndNote library (File > Open Library)
  2. Click on the File menu and select Import
  3. Browse to the XML file you exported from Sente
  4. Change the Import Option to EndNote Generated XML
  5. Click Import

Once done please follow the steps below to link the PDF to the EndNote library:

  1. Now you have the imported references in EndNote. Highlight all the references and go to File>Export and choose RefMan RIS import filter save the text file on desktop.

  2. Now open this text file using TextEdit and click on Edit>Find> Find and Replace.

  3. In the Find button enter UR  -

  4. In the Replace field type in L1  -
    Note- please leave two spaces between UR and the dash, and between L1 and the dash.

  5. Replace All and save the text file.
    ** If you have references with more than one link, you’ll need to do this, otherwise only the first link will work:
       Find “file:///” and replace with “L1  - file:///”, leaving two spaces between L1 and - as above: this will add the second, third, etc. attachments but break the first ones, you will fix this in the next step.  Replace All.
       Find “L1  - L1  -” and replace with “L1  -”, leaving two spaces between L1 and - as above: this will fix the first attachments. Replace All, and save the text file.

  6. Open EndNote and create a new library. Now import the text file using the RefMan RIS filter.

  7. This library will have all the references with file attachments.

  8. Now you can save a copy of this library and convert the absolute links to relative links so that you can move this library across different computers.

  9. To do so, highlight all the references and click on References tab and File Attachments>Convert to Relative Links. This will convert the links to relative. This step may take a while.

I used this workaround to import my 10,000 reference library, each with 1 or 2 PDFs, and only 37 links didn’t work - these were mostly corrupt PDFs I hadn’t noticed yet.

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Glad to hear tech support was able to resolve your issue concerning converting from Sente to Endnote. Thanks for posting the instructions which will help other users.

I gave up on doing this a while back but having checked the thread it looks like you’ve made a lot of progress. Thank you very much for sharing these instructions. I’ll give it a go with my own library and report back soon.

Thanks for this. Did this keep any annotations?