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Zotero Guide

Zotero Guide

Grabbing Sources

Zotero Connector allows you to automatically grab sources with a click of a button and save them to Zotero.  Connector works with all library databases.  You can also take snap shots of any website and save them in Zotero.

Zotero Connector

Zotero Connector is an add-on for Chrome that will detect sources on a given website that can be imported when clicked.  Depending on the type of source, connector will show one of four icons:

White Paper Icon: Indicates that Zotero does not detect the type of content on the website.  It will still import a snapshot of the page, but you may have to fill in most of the information about the source yourself.

Blue Book Icon: Will typically appear when Zotero detects a book.

Blue Paper IconAppears when Zotero recognizes the type of source via metadata.  This icon will appear for journal articles in databases, newspapers, and many websites.

Gold Folder Icon: Appears when Zotero recognizes multiple sources on a single page.  You will be allowed to choose which to import from a list of items. 

Importing Sources with Zotero Connector

1.  In the example below, Zotero Connector displays the gold folder icon because it detects the many different articles displayed on the search results page of an article database.  Click the connector to import sources from the page:

2.  Select which sources you would like to import to Zotero and click "OK:"

3. Select which collection or sub-collection you would like to import the sources into, then click "Done."  Sources that have pdfs will automatically import the pdf.  Those that do not, will import a link to the source in the database:

Adding Sources Manually

You can also add sources to Zotero manually by resource type, by ISBN, DOI, PMID, or arXiv, or by simply dragging and dropping .pdf files into a collection.

Manually Adding Sources by Type:

1. To add a source manually by type select the green "New Item" button and select the resource type.  If your resource is not listed in the dropdown, you may need to select "More" to see a list of further resource types:

2. A new, blank source will be created in Zotero.  Fill out the information in the "Info" tab on the right.  You do not need to fill out every field, but be sure to include all necessary information to generate a citation (e.g. Title, Author, Year, Publisher, City of Publication, and etc.):

Manually Adding Sources by ISBN, DOI, PMID, or arXiv:

1. To add a source by ISBN, DOI, PMID, or arXiv, click on "Add Item(s) by Identifier" and enter the identifier.  Zotero will add your source and auto-populate its citation information from the relevant databases:


Dragging and Dropping .PDF Files:

1. You can also drag and drop .pdf files directly into Zotero.  Zotero will attempt to pull the citation information from the file's metadata.  However, it's always good practice to verify after import, as it might not always be correct.

Storing Sources

Zotero will auto upload both your citations and your attached files to its cloud servers.  From there, you can access them anywhere, either via the Zotero Client or via Zotero's in-browser app.  Free users are granted 300mb of space upon signing up, but can pay for more.  If you are beginning a large research project and do not want to pay for extra storage, you may want to disable automatic upload of files to Zotero's cloud server and store your files locally on your computer.  To do so, under "Tools" select "Preferences" and deselect "Sync attachment files in My Library using Zotero:"

Source Saving Tips

Website Snapshots: Zotero Connector will allow you to save snapshots of practically any website.  This is useful as websites are frequently updated and may disappear or change at some point.

Verify Citations on Import: Zotero generates in-text citations and bibliographies from the information in a source's "Info" tab.  It's good practice to verify this information on import to make certain it's correct.

Storage Concerns: 300mb is not much space if you are undertaking a larger research project.  Zotero will always save your sources to the cloud, but you may want to disable storing attachments if you do not want to run out of space.

Zotero Web Client: You can access your collection of sources from anywhere using Zotero's web client.  The web version of Zotero does not have all of the features of its desktop client, but can be useful if you are on a public machine and are unable to install the desktop client.

Tag Import: If you plan on using tags, it's a good idea to disable Zotero's tag import function.  This is because many articles will have many tags that are irrelevant to your own purposes.  For instructions on how to do this, see the "Tagging Sources" box in the "Organizing Sources with Zotero" section of this guide.