Bibtex Converter: Tools To Convert RIS file to Bibtex Online

When it comes to research and academic writing, effectively managing citations is crucial. For researchers juggling between RIS and BibTeX file formats, theres one good news – you can use many online tools to convert your citations between these two formats.

This article delves into the best online tools designed to convert RIS files to BibTeX, a common need for LaTeX users. You’ll discover user-friendly, efficient platforms that streamline this conversion process, ensuring your bibliographic data seamlessly transitions between formats.

Software NameFeatures
JabRef– Free, open-source
– Easily imports RIS files and converts them to BibTeX format.
Bibutils– Interconverts between various bibliography file formats.
– Converts RIS to BibTeX via a command-line interface.
Paperpile– Fast conversion functionality.
– Upload RIS files for automatic conversion to BibTeX.
CitationConverter– Online tool for quick RIS to BibTeX conversion.
– No installation needed.
ris2bib– Specialized tool for RIS to BibTeX conversion.
– Command-line interface suitable for converting large numbers of files.

What Are Bibtex and RIS Files?

BibTeX and RIS files are pivotal in managing references in academic writing, each serving a unique role in the world of research and publication.


BibTeX, primarily associated with LaTeX document preparation system, is widely used for formatting lists of references.

A BibTeX file (.bib) contains bibliographic information formatted in a structured manner. For instance, an entry in a BibTeX file might include tags like ‘@article’ followed by details such as:

  • Author,
  • Title, 
  • Journal, and 
  • Year of publication.

This format allows LaTeX users to cite sources in their documents and then generate a corresponding bibliography with ease.


RIS files, on the other hand, are plain text files used for sharing bibliographic citations. You might encounter a RIS file when exporting references from databases or academic software like EndNote.

These files begin with a ‘TY’ tag, indicating the type of reference (e.g., journal, book), followed by other tags like:

  • ‘AU’ for author,
  • ‘TI’ for title, and
  • ‘PY’ for the year of publication.

The simplicity of the RIS format makes it compatible with a wide range of reference management software.

You can convert between these two formats using various online tools or software packages.

For example, if you have a RIS file and need to use it in a LaTeX document, an online RIS to BibTeX converter can reformat your citations appropriately.

Similarly, BibTeX entries can be converted into RIS format for use in programs that don’t support BibTeX.

In academic circles, the choice between BibTeX and RIS often depends on the tools and systems in use. LaTeX users lean towards BibTeX for its seamless integration, while RIS files offer broader compatibility for those using different text editors and bibliographic software.

Understanding these file types and how to convert between them can significantly streamline your research and writing process, allowing for efficient management and citation of scholarly sources.

Tools To Convert RIS to Bibtex

If you are actively doing research work and all, chances are you will need to perform the task of converting RIS to BibTeX files. This process is crucial for those who collect references in RIS format but need them in BibTeX format for document preparation in LaTeX.

Fortunately, several tools make this conversion straightforward and efficient.


JabRef stands out as a free, open-source bibliography reference manager. The beauty of JabRef lies in its ability to import RIS files and convert them into BibTeX format effortlessly.

You simply need to download and install JabRef, open it, select ‘Import into new database’, choose your RIS file, and JabRef will handle the rest. The conversion is seamless, making it a favorite among researchers.


Primarily a reference management software, Paperpile also offers a function to convert RIS files to BibTeX.

You can easily upload your RIS file to Paperpile, and it will automatically handle the conversion. This tool is particularly useful for those who already use Paperpile for reference management.


This online tool allows for quick conversion without the need to install any software. You simply upload your RIS file, select BibTeX as the output format, and download the converted file. CitationConverter is ideal for on-the-go conversions.


This is a collection of tools designed to interconvert between various bibliography file formats. Bibutils can convert RIS to BibTeX through a command-line interface, which might be more appealing to users comfortable with such environments. 

Though it requires installation, its powerful conversion capabilities are well worth the effort.


ris2bib is a specific tool designed for converting RIS to BibTeX format. It’s typically used via a command-line interface, providing a straightforward and efficient conversion process. 

ris2bib is especially useful for users who need to convert large numbers of files regularly.

Each of these tools caters to different preferences, whether you favor a graphical user interface, an online solution, or a command-line approach. They ensure that the bibliographic data contained in the RIS files is accurately and effectively converted into BibTeX format.

These tools also are able to maintain the integrity of citation details such as the:

  • Author,
  • Title,
  • Journal,
  • Year of publication, and
  • Volume.

This makes managing references for LaTeX documents a smoother and more streamlined process.

RIS To BibTex File Converter Online

Converting back and forth between RIS and BibTeX format is not rocket science with these online tools. Catering to the diverse needs of the academic community, they ensure that your citation management is as smooth as possible.

Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or a student, these tools provide a reliable, quick, and user-friendly way to convert your bibliographic data, enhancing your research and writing experience.

Embrace these online solutions to navigate the intricacies of reference management with confidence and ease.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.