Google Scholar and RefMan: Configuring Scholar to give downloadable RIS references

Feb 7 2010

Did you know that you can configure Google Scholar to provide RIS download links?

RIS is an industry-standard format for importing and exporting bibliography information. Recently I posted a PHP library for working with RIS files. I wanted to find a good search tool that would allow me to find articles, and then download them into Lantern (a project I will release soon).

RefMan is a popular tool that also uses the RIS format. So to enable RIS downloads, simply tell Google Scholar to provide RefMan support.

Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Log into Google Scholar (
  2. Click on scholar preferences next to the Search button.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the configuration screen to Bibliography Manager and choose RefMan

Here's a screenshot showing the last step.

Once you have saved those preferences, every article in your search results should have an Import into RefMan link next to it. <!--break-->