Research database data export kvetch

I'm sure I must have bitched about this before, but argh!  I don't understand, when you have nice structured data all in clean little fields, how you could so horribly and repeatedly screw up exporting to citation managers. The worst part is, even after a database has it right, they'll often screw it up when nothing else has changed.

I do A LOT of searching of research databases. Like I probably spend a quarter to three quarters of every day at work searching in some research database or another.  As I mentioned in my post on packaging results, I'll typically export results from the various places to RefWorks and then use that to compile. I'll then export from RefWorks to APA annotated with abstract for my report. I also maintain a listing of articles written by MPOW and I export from research databases to RefWorks to populate that.

After I've updated the listing of articles, I'm usually so frustrated I can barely see straight.

Here's a list of things that make me most angry:

  • the DOI field not being exported
  • a period being added to the end of the DOI field  (WTF?!?)
  • being added to the front of the DOI in the DOI field
  • the DOI being routed to the Links field with the in front of it
  • NTIS database results coming out as Journal Articles - it's NTIS, all of the entries are by definition technical reports even if the content was presented at a meeting or whatever
  • NTIS database results not transfering the report number
  • Conferences seem to never come in right from anywhere

Yes, I do global edits to fix all of these but the period but that just adds on more time.

I used to recommend EngineeringVillage2 for good data export - but they've "fixed" it so now it does a few of these things. My current best data source is Web of Science - now that we've got an export to RefWorks button. It's the *cleanest* data export you'll find.  People  complain about it for analytics or JIF purposes - but really, take a look at the competition!

2 responses so far

  • Sue says:

    and yet a while ago I was having massive issues with WoS exporting all conference articles to Endnote as "general" as they had changed the naming of the type without updating the importer. I reported it and havent heard anything back.