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Zotero: Adding items

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, manage, cite, and share research sources.

Via your web browser using connectors

Zotero Connectors allow you to save to Zotero directly from your web browser. There are connectors for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Install yours. 

The connector appears on your web browser. It'll show a different icon, depending on the type of web page or document you're consulting. 

When you search the web and run across a web page, article or document of interest, just click on the icon and Zotero will save the available metadata to the Zotero Library you are currently working on.

Capturing an item

This is an example of a document found in Labordoc. Click on the icon and Zotero will automatically create an item of the appropriate type and populate the metadata fields and download a full-text PDF if available.  

After clicking this is the result in your Zotero Library.


Capturing several items in a batch

When you're searching in a database and have several results listed in a page, you can select multiple items. Just click on the folder icon and then select from the list of titles. 

According to the document presented in the browser, different types of icon will be shown and the captured information will change accordingly. If the connector fails to capture metadata from the page, you can always add your item manually into Zotero.

Tip: Zotero has a useful guide for adding items. 

Manually adding items

You can always add items manually to your Zotero Collection. 

Click on the + icon on the top menu, a new item will be created. Just add the metadata accordingly in the column in the right. 


Manage your PDFs

Drag and drop your PDF files into your Collection. 

Right click on the file and click "Retrieve metadata for PDF". Zotero will try to locate the metadata of the PDF and create an item. 


If Zotero can't find metadata linked to the PDF, you can always add the metadata manually. 

Use the identifiers

Adding your printed books to your Collection is simple. Click on the Magic Wand on the top menu and add the ISBN of the book in the search box. 

If the article has a DOI, just add it to the search box. 

Zotero will search online for the metadata of your document. 

Importing bibliographies from a plain text file

If you have a plain text bibliography now you can import the items to Zotero. 

  1.  Go to AnyStyle.
  2. Copy the citations from your plain text file and paste them into the field  "Paste your references here…"
  3. Make sure that there are not line breaks within individual citations.
  4. Click on "Parse [#] References."
  5. The parser will split each citation according its metadata (title, author, journal, issue, page numbers, etc.)
  6. If any part of the information has not been parsed correctly, you can click on the part, select "Assign label" and select the appropriate label.
  7. When you’ll consider that the parser has parsed your citations correctly, scroll down to save your references by clicking on BibTeX. Please keep in mind that currently Zotero does not support XML file imports.
  8. You will be prompted to save the file to your computer. 
  9. Once you’ve saved the file, open Zotero and go to File > Import, select your file, and Zotero will create a new collection (based on the filename) and begin importing your references.

Always check the imported items, as there could be some errors in the metadata.

Disclaimer: The contents and links referenced in this guide are provided only for information and do not constitute policies, recommendations or opinions of the ILO.