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Zotero: Adding References

Zotero is a reference management tool that helps you to organize your references

Collecting References: Books and Articles

Zotero provides the ability to save references from most library catalogs (including RIT Library's) and databases, and even some regular web pages, with one click. (Zotero publishes a list of compatible sites, and many sites not on this list also work.) If Zotero detects that you're looking at a book or article on a catalog, database, or a site like, LibraryThing or the New York Times, you'll see a book or page icon appear in the address bar of your browser.

Open the Zotero program from your desktop or file menu

Then when viewing an item in your browser you want to save, just click the browser connector icon and Zotero will automatically save the citation.  Sometimes the icon will look like the type of reference it recognizes.  In a library catalog, you will see it appear as a book:

For other sources, the icon might appear as an article page:

In sources that support adding multiple items from search results (Google Scholar, Engineering Village), you'll see a folder icon instead:

Click this to get a list of all the items on the page, and check off the ones you want to save.

Adding Items by ISBN

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.

Manually Creating References

If Zotero can't automatically capture citation information for an item you wish to add, you can still add them to your Zotero library manually.

In Zotero, click the New Item button (it looks like a green plus sign) and then select the appropriate reference type. Then, type or copy-and-paste the reference data into the appropriate fields (author's names, title, etc.).

Zotero will automatically save your new reference, and you can then add it to your collections or groups and cite it in bibliographies.

Collecting References from Summon

The "Save to Zotero" icon may not work when collecting references found in RIT Libraries' Summon search system.  Zotero will try to save search results from Summon as generic web pages.

Instead, Summon allows for you to export references to Zotero Standalone in a more manual fashion.


Saving a single Summon reference to Zotero

In the right corner of the brief display of your selected reference, click the three dot icon labeled "More Actions."  Select "Export to - Zotero."  Open the downloaded file using Zotero Standalone as the application.


Saving multiple Summon references to Zotero

First, select the references you wish to export from your results list by clicking the "Save this item" icon in the upper right corner of the brief reference display.

Open your temporary saved folder of references.  Open the "Export To" drop-down menu and select Zotero as the export format.  Open the downloaded export file using Zotero Standalone as the application.

Indexing PDFs

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

First, enable PDF metadata retrieval on the General tab of Zotero's preferences.

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

Zotero should automatically retrieve the reference metadata.  If not, right-click the PDFs and choose "Retrieve Metadata for PDFs." Zotero will retrieve their citation data from CrossRef and turn them into citeable items with PDF attachments.

If Zotero can't find a match on CrossRef, 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.

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