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Importing both References and Knowledge Items from Access

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Importing both References and Knowledge Items from Access

Postby PadreKoonce » 2016-06-10 12:26

System information: [ Citavi Version 5.x Beta, Windows 10, English, -, MS Office 2016, - ]

I am looking for help to import into Citavi an Access database that includes both References and Knowledge Items in two separate tables.

This is a database that I started putting together 10 years ago, to do what Citavi now does much better; so, rather than continuing with my own project, I would prefer to import all the data into Citavi so as to use Citavi as my only research platform moving forward. Like Citavi, my database included not just bibliographical information (as most reference managers do) but also linked knowledge items (notes), which to my knowledge Citavi alone offers among all the reference mangager software packages.

For a long time I have been pondering how to get both my references and knowledge items into Citavi, and yesterday I made two attempts, with modest success, but also with some glitches. Before continuing with trial and error experimentation, I wanted to see if someone at Citavi could point me in the right direction, to get a better result.

General description:
My database includes more than 600 reference and more than 3000 knowledge items.

First attempt: references were imported, but not the knowledge items

Citavi kindly tells you from the outset that it can only import from a single table or query:
2016-06-10 (2).png

My first thought was to import first the references, then the knowledge items, using the Citavi import fields Import ID and In (Import ID), hoping that would be enough to tell Citavi how the records were related.
2016-06-10 (4).png

I successfully imported the References, but when I attempted to import the Knowledge Items, nothing was imported.

Second attempt: each knowledge item was imported as its own reference item

In my second attempt, I merged the two tables into one query. This method was successful, insofar as all of my knowledge items were successfully imported into Citavi (hooray!), but the drawback is that each knowledge item is considered to be its own reference item, as well. Therefore, if I had ten knowledge items from one book, instead of Citavi recognizing one book with ten knowledge items, it gave me ten instances of the book, each with a single knowledge item.

I thought I might be the only person in the world who would need to import knowledge items into Citavi, but since you have kindly included this possibility (and it does work!), I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for importing the references and knowledge items in such a way that Citavi will recognize the knowledge items as "children" of the "parent", but they are not "child references" of the "parent reference"

Any suggestions?

Re: Importing both References and Knowledge Items from Acces

Postby Sebastian Pabel » 2016-06-13 14:28

Hi, PadreKoonce,

this is a rather tricky endeavour as there is currently no way to directly importing relational data into Citavi. The import feature deals only with data in single tables. Having said that, there might be an option for you, as you can import quotation text for a specific reference (i.e. a column with one cell for all quotations for a specific reference). Could you export from your database in a way that all quotations of a reference go into one cell and there is a certain delimiter text between each quotation? We might be able to adapt the import then accordingly.

The other -- rather more complicated -- option would be to write into the Citavi DB directly. Each Citavi project is stored in a database in SQLite3 format. It's not encrypted and the structure is relative straight-forward. If you think this could be an option for you, please let us know, so we can perhaps point you in the right direction.

Best regards

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Sebastian Pabel
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Re: Importing both References and Knowledge Items from Acces

Postby PadreKoonce » 2016-06-13 20:43

Dear Sebastian,

The first option you mention would also be rather tricky, as some of my references have easily more than 50 quotations, and often rather long.

The second option, though complicated, would probably be the best, since I am interested in getting my whole database into Citavi. So, if you could give me some pointers, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

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