importing BibDesk database

Sean Garrett-Roe Sep 13, 2013 05:11PM BST

Essentially an identical question as

JAMES OWEN NOV 20, 2012 04:39PM GMT

I want do import a BibDesk library which has lots of pdf links, doi's, etc already. Currently, I don't see any way to get pdfs easily for the imported records. For example, the download button doesn't appear in the table view the way it does for records located within Mendeley. (I mean the icon that comes after the star (for favs) and the green button (for read/unread), in the table view.)

Clicking the doi link in the details panel succeeds ("lookup succeeded"), gives me a url, and sometimes changes the journal title, but still no easy pdf locator.

The answer to the previous question doesn't describe any solution or work around so maybe that happened off the bulletin board?

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Josh Sep 16, 2013 11:48AM BST Mendeley Agent

Thanks for your message, Sean.

Unless you have a copy of the PDF on your machine (and it is linked in the BibDesk library itself) there is no way to get a copy of the PDF itself into Mendeley, other than manually importing the file yourself, or using the URL as you defined.

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Sean Garrett-Roe Sep 16, 2013 06:52PM BST

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, there are pdfs locally linked to in the Bibdesk database. The links are stored in custom Bibtex fields Bdsk-File-N = {<alias>}, where N runs from 1 to the number of linked files and <alias> is a binary Mac file alias. (

Are the specs of what MD looks for in a Bibtex database to find a local pdf documented somewhere? I can't find it... If I knew what field MD expects I could work something out.

I do see a number of mentions of Bibdesk in old threads going back to 2009 (eg Automatically find PDFs & link them to imported metadata) but it is hard to see if a work-around was ever cooked up.


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Josh Sep 20, 2013 12:13PM BST Mendeley Agent

Thanks Sean. might be useful for you.

Specifically with the files they are stored as:

file = {:C$\backslash$:/Users/NAME/Desktop/B.pdf:pdf;:C$\backslash$:/Users/NAME/Desktop/A.pdf:pdf},

So, in the format file = {PATH/FILENAME.pdf:pdf;…}, you do not need the semi colon if you are not using more than one value for the file.

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