Add Sources to Zotero
This page describes how to get citations and pdfs from the web or your desktop into Zotero.
When retrieving sources from the web, you'll use the Zotero browser connector. It will appear somewhere in your address bar depending on your browser. Normally, it looks like a Zotero icon, but when Zotero recognizes a citation or citations it will change according to the item type.
Adding sources is also known as "importing."
Note: Zotero, like other citation tools, is only as good as the metdata provided it. It's important to check your citations. You can easily fix any error by clicking on the metadata field in Info.
Add Books from HOLLIS
Single Sources (one at a time)
When viewing an individual book record in HOLLIS, Zotero displays a small blue book icon near the address bar.
- Click on that icon to add the book to your Zotero library:
When viewing multiple items on a search results screen in HOLLIS, Zotero will display a folder icon to the right of the address bar.
- Click the folder icon and a window will open, allowing you to select the HOLLIS records you would like to add to your Zotero library.
- When you are done selecting, click OK to add to your Zotero library.
Note: Adding multiple sources to Zotero at once is recommended only for searches in the Library Catalog section of HOLLIS. Bulk adding from the Catalog & Articles section may result in incomplete metadata for journal articles, as well as PDFs not automatically downloading.
- For correct metadata and PDFs, you should go directly to the source of the full text and add to Zotero from there
- This is described in the section on adding journal article citations to Zotero.
Video for Importing Books from HOLLIS
Add Journal Articles
You can save an article when viewing its record or abstract page. When on a page for an individual article Zotero will display an icon of a piece of paper . Zotero will automatically download the full-text PDF if it is available.
Just as with HOLLIS, when viewing a search results screen in a database Zotero will display this folder icon to the right of the address bar.
Click the icon, and a small window will open.
Select which items you'd like to save, and click OK.
Video for Importing Articles from HOLLIS
Add Web Pages
Zotero can recognize descriptive information or metadata from many websites.
To save a website to Zotero just click on the website icon to the right of the address bar.
The metadata and a snapshot of the page will be saved to Zotero.
Add or import PDFs from your desktop
Saving PDFs that you already on have on your computer to Zotero is easy: drag and drop them into a collection. Zotero will then have the PDF, but it needs to create a "parent item" so Zotero can save the metadata necessary for citing the work later.
- Drag-and-drop a PDF into a collection.
- Zotero will automatically attempt to retrieve metadata for the item and add it for you.
- Note: this metadata retrieval usually works really well when the PDF contains a unique identifier, e.g., a DOI. However, it may only work partially for items such as working papers, preprints, and manuscripts; in that case, you will need to add missing metadata manually (see below).
You can also add PDFs by clicking on the Adobe icon when viewing PDFs in your browser.
Manually Add Metadata for PDFs
If retrieving metadata does not work, you will only have the PDF itself in your library, without the necessary metadata to generate a proper citation. You will therefore need to manually add this information to the item:
- Right click (control-click on a Mac) the PDF and choose Create Parent Item from the menu.
- Now, manually fill in the metadata for the item.
First, change the item type to the appropriate type:
Then add the remaining citation information:
Check Citations for Accuracy
Although most of the citation information that Zotero captures will be correct, it is always a good idea to check every item's author, title, date, etc., and then to correct and/or add data.
All fields can be edited by clicking in the field.
- For example, if you need to fix a typo in a record imported from HOLLIS, click in the field and edit as needed:
- If you need to add or remove authors, editors, translators, etc., click on the plus or minus button and (when adding) select the appropriate role of the person from the drop-down menu, then enter their name:
- You can also change the item type (for example, change a record imported as a web page to a magazine article) by selecting the new item type from the drop-down menu:
Note that in some cases, the fields available in the record—which are determined by item type—may also change, and you may lose data.
APA Style Title Case
Note that Zotero's output for APA style does not change title casing to sentence style. To change titles that are not in sentence case for APA or other styles with that requirement, right-click on the title > Transform text > Sentence case.