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Zotero: Tips and Tricks

Zotero + EndNote

It's easy to use EndNote and Zotero together and take advantage of the best features of each, or to share Zotero libraries with colleagues using EndNote or vice versa. Both programs can read and write a standard citation file format called RIS, which means references can be converted back and forth with a few clicks.

PDFs and other attachments do not export between programs, however; only citation information.

Zotero to EndNote

To save your Zotero library for importing into EndNote, click the Zotero button that looks like a gear and choose "Export Library." Choose RIS as the file type and pick a filename.

In EndNote, click "File" and then "Import." Click the "Choose File" button and select the file you just exported from Zotero. Set Import Option to "Reference Manager (RIS)" and click Import.

Screenshot of the Zotero menu option to inport a library of references.EndNote to Zotero

To export your EndNote library for use in Zotero, click "File" and then "Export." Set the output style to "RefMan (RIS) Export" and save it as a text file.

In Zotero, click the button that looks like a gear and choose "Import." Just double-click the file you exported from EndNote. The new references will be added to a collection named "Imported" followed by the date and time.

Findit@UCL and Zotero

 Screenshot of the find@UCL button. You've probably seen the findit@UCL button which helps you to locate the full text of an article online if UCL has subscribed to this resource. Zotero allows you to use the same feature in the Library Lookup option.

To set up Zotero to access the f UCL subscribed resources,  click the gear button on the Zotero toolbar and choose Preferences. At the bottom of the preferences window, paste this url into the "Resolver" box:

Then click OK. Once you've set this up, you can click on Library Lookup option to find the resource. If you have not authenticated, you will be asked to verify yourself by typing in your username and password before the resource becomes available to you. 

Screenshot of the Zotero Library Lookup option.

Indexing PDFs

It's easy to add PDFs to your Zotero library and automatically import their citation info.

First, enable PDF indexing on the Search tab of Zotero's preferences.  Zotero will download and install a small plugin.

Next, just drag your PDF files into the Zotero pane.

Right-click the PDFs and choose "Retrieve Metadata for PDFs."  Zotero will retrieve their citation data from Google Scholar and turn them into citeable items with PDF attachments.

If Zotero can't find a match on Google Scholar, don't worry -- you can still save the citation from another catalog or article database, then drag the PDF onto the citation to make it an attachment.

Adding items by ISBN or DOI

Screenshot of the option in Zotero to manually add an item to your library.Have the book in front of you and want to add it to your Zotero library without having to search for a citation?

If you have a book's ISBN, an online article's DOI or PMID number, just click the magic wand button: "Add item by identifier." Type in the book or article's number, and Zotero will automatically download its information and save it to your library.

IOE Harvard on Zotero

The IOE Style has been replicated for Zotero. To copy it to your computer:

  • Check to see where the styles are located on your computer (for example N:\Firefox\zotero\styles).
  • Tip!  To check the location of the file, within Zotero go to the Preferences> Files and Folders> Show Data Directory option in Zotero.
  • Right-click on the link below and choose 'Save Target As' changing the suffix from .xml to .csl.
  • It should then show up as an available style in Zotero.


Adding additional styles to Zotero

Zotero comes with the most common bibliographic styles, but many more are available to download.

To install a Zotero style:

  1. Go to the Zotero Style Repository page in Firefox.
  2. Search for the name of the style you need.
  3. Click the Install link next to the style, then the Install button to confirm.

The new style will appear in Zotero's style lists.

Standardizing Titles

It is generally recommended that you standardise references. Although the styles do this, some journals use 'Title Case' and others use 'Sentence Case' in how they publish journal articles.

If you right-click on the title field, you can change 'Transform the Text' and Change the case:

Screenshot showing the Transform Text menu option in Zotero.