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Research Guides@Tufts

Zotero

Gathering and Importing References to Zotero

Before you can insert citations or a bibliography into your paper, you must get references into your Zotero Library. This section covers the following:

Gathering References using Zotero Connector

Zotero Connector allows you to save references to Zotero directly from your web browser. Used mainly for webpages, it can also be used for online sources where there is not a direct way to cite or capture a reference. (See topic on gathering references retrieved from databases.)

To use Zotero Connector, follow the steps below:

1. Ensure you have installed the Connector using a compatible browser.

NOTE:

  • There are special instructions to install Zotero Connector for Chrome:
  1. In Chrome, open the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Search for "Zotero".
  3. In the Chrome Web Store search results, find "Zotero Connector" and select the "Add to Chrome" button.
  4. A pop-up window should appear; select the "Add extension" button. NOTE: If this option doesn't appear, ensure pop-ups in Chrome are turned on.

2. To use Zotero Connector, select the "Add to Zotero" button for the webpage you would like to cite. This button is found near the address bar in your browser.

CHROME 

FIREFOX  

SAFARI    

3. Select which Collection to save the reference to, then select "Done". (See topic on using "Collections" to organize references.)

4. (OPTIONAL) You may want to edit the reference if it the citation information saved incorrectly.

Gathering References Retrieved from Databases

The following are instructions for exporting references from major article databases. Most article databases offer some type of direct export of citations into Zotero. If you do not see an export to Zotero option listed, then look for an option to export citations in .ris format (RefMan).

EBSCO Databases

  1. Perform a search in an EBSCO database (such as Academic Search PremierAgeLineCINAHL, etc.) 
  2. In the search results, click on the title of the item you want to cite/reference
  3. In the left sidebar menu of the record for that item, select the "Export" icon: 
  4. Select "Direct Export in RIS Format (e.g. CITAVI, EasyBib, EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero)", then Select "Save"
  5. Double-click on the .ris file (that was saved to your Downloads folder on your computer).
  6. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

Google Scholar and Google Books

Google Scholar

  1. Conduct your search in Google Scholar.
  2. In the search results for the item you want to cite/reference, select the cite icon (quotation marks) found underneath the citation: 
  3. Select "RefMan" (link is found near the bottom of the window that appears)
  4. Double-click the "scholar.ris" file saved to your Downloads folder on your computer. Note: If you have more than one, the file name may vary.
  5. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

Google Books

  1. Perform a search in Google Books and select a result.
  2. Within the Google Book record, click the About this Book link (located on the left side of the screen). Note: This option will appear only if the book is available in eBook format.
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the screen to see the Export Citations options. Select "RefMan".
  4. Double-click the ".ris" file saved to your Downloads folder on your computer. 
  5. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

JumboSearch

  1. In JumboSearch, search for the the desired item (book, book chapter, journal, article etc.)
  2. In the search results, select the cite icon (quotation marks) to the left of the result: 
  3. Select Export RIS: 
  4. Click on the DOWNLOAD link.
  5. Double-click on the Primo_RIS_Export.ris file (saved to your computer's Download folder).
  6. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

Ovid Databases

  1. Perform a search in an Ovid database.
  2. In the search results, use the checkboxes to select individual references.
  3. Scroll up to the top of the list of references and select Export: 
  4. In the "Export Citation" window:
    • Under "Format", select "RIS"
    • Under "Fields", select "Complete Reference"
    • Select the "Export" button
  5. Double-click the ".ris" file saved to your Downloads folder on your computer. 
  6. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

ProQuest Databases

  1. Perform a search in a ProQuest database.
  2. In the search results, use the checkboxes to select individual references.
  3. Scroll up to the top of the list of references and in the upper right, select "Save": 

  4. Select "RIS (works with EndNote, citavi, etc.).

  5. In the Export/Save window, select "Continue".

  6. Reference(s) should automatically download. 

  7. Double-click the ".ris" file saved to your Downloads folder on your computer. 
  8. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

PubMed

  1. Conduct a search in PubMed.
  2. In the search results, use the checkboxes to select individual references.
  3. In the upper right side of the screen, select "Send To". Then select "Citation manager" and then select the "Create File" button.
  4. Double-click the ".nbib" file saved to your Downloads folder on your computer. 
  5. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

Scopus

  1. Perform a search in Scopus.
  2. In the results list, use the checkboxes to select individual references.
  3. Scroll to the top of the search results list and select the "Export" icon: 
  4. Under Export  document settings menu that appears, select RIS Format (EndNote, Reference Manager). Keep the remaining defaults, then select the "Export" button.
  5. A .ris file will be downloaded from Scopus to your Downloads folder on your computer. Double-click on that file.
  6. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

Web of Science

  1. Perform a search in Web of Science.
  2. In the results lists, use the checkboxes to select individual references.
  3. At the top (or bottom) of the results list, select the "Export..." button.
  4. If prompted, select the "Other File Formats" option. 
  5. In the next window that appears, under File Format, select "Other Reference Software". Then select the "Export" button.
  6. A "savedrecs.txt" file should download. Note: Filename may vary if you have more than one already saved to your computer. 
  7. Go to the Zotero program on your computer and select  "File" then "Import..."
  8. In the window that appears, select the option "A file (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.)", then select the "Continue" or "Next" button.
  9. Navigate to the "Downloads" folder on your computer and select the "savedrecs.txt" file, then select the "Open" button.
  10. In the next window that appears, choose desired options or keep the defaults and select "Continue" or "Next" button.
  11. An "Import Complete" message should appear. Select "Done" or "Finish".
  12. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

Creating References Manually

  1. In the Zotero program on your computer, go to "File" then "New Item".
  2. Select from the options based on the type of reference you will create (Book, Book Section, Documents, Journal Article, etc.) Note: Select "More..." for additional options
  3. Fill out the fields that describe the item (Title, Author, etc.)
  4. The reference will automatically save and will be added to your existing Library.

Creating References from Article PDFs

You may already have a collection of article PDFs saved to your computer.  Zotero makes it easy to import these PDFs and retrieve full bibliographic metadata (for searching, citing, indexing, and organizing). Follow the steps below to create references from a PDF:
  1. Drag your existing PDFs into your Zotero library or use the “Store Copy of File” or “Link to File” options from the add new item menu (green plus sign) and navigate to the PDF(s) on your computer.
  2. By default, Zotero should automatically retrieve metadata for PDFs and rename the associated files, but if it does not, you may need to do enter references manually.

Importing References from a File

  1. Go to the Zotero program on your computer and select  "File" then "Import..."
  2. In the window that appears, select the option "A file (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.)", then select the "Continue" or "Next" button.
  3. Navigate to the "Downloads" folder on your computer and select the reference file (.ris, .nbib, etc), then select the "Open" button.
  4. In the next window that appears, choose desired options or keep the defaults and select "Continue" or "Next" button.
  5. An "Import Complete" message should appear. Select "Done" or "Finish".
  6. The reference should open up in Zotero. (See topic on Troubleshooting problems with Zotero, if you have issues downloading references.)

Editing References

Sometimes references may have incorrect information. To adjust the metadata or information surrounding a reference, follow the steps below:

  1. In your Zotero Library, select the desired reference.
  2. To the right of the reference, you'll see fields representing information about that item. Click on the desired field to edit.
  3. Zotero will automatically save the edits.

Removing References from a Collection

  1. Select a collection in the left Zotero pane, then select the items in the center pane that you want to remove from the collection.
  2. Press the Delete key to remove the items from the collection. You can also right-click the selected items and choose “Remove Item(s) from Collection…”. This only removes the items from the selected collection, not from “My Library” or any other collections.
  3. To delete an item in a collection, select the items in the collection, right-click on them, and choose “Move Item(s) to Trash…”.

For more information, visit the Zotero documentation topic on removing items from a collection.

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