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Zotero: TIPS & TRICKS

Developed by the Center for History and New Media at the George Mason University, Virginia, Zotero is an open source easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Zotero Tips and Tricks

This page gives you additional information to help you make the most of Zotero.


FIND OUT IN WHICH COLLECTION(S) AN ITEM IS:

Select the reference in the middle pane.

Press control.

The collection where the item is will be highlighted in the left hand side pane.

ADD REFERENCES FROM AN EXISTING WORD BIBLIOGRAPHY TO ZOTERO:

You can parse plain-text bibliography references using AnyStyle, an online bibliography parser that can be trained for improved results. Export parsed citations as BibTeX or CiteProc/JSON and import into Zotero. Additional plain-text reference parsers are listed below.


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,  you can still save the citation from another catalog or article database or enter the details manually, then drag the PDF onto the citation to make it an attachment.


REMOVE DUPLICATES:

To remove duplicate records, also called deduping, open your Zotero pane.

Next click on the entry to the left named "Duplicate Items". This will display a listing of items Zotero believes to be duplicates.

You can select which version you would prefer to keep and the differences will be displayed beneath the listing of the different versions.

Once you've settled on a final version, click on the "Merge Items" button and Zotero will remove the duplicate references.


PUBLIC COMPUTERS:

If you're using Zotero on a public computer, once you leave the machine, anyone using the computer after you will have access to your library in Zotero. This may prove an issue for some users, especially when working with confidential items. Make sure you have logged off after using a public computer.