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Zotero: Zotero Tricks

Information on using Firefox's citation-management add-on, Zotero.

Locate Items in OhioLINK

Locate items in your Zotero library in OhioLINK by clicking the green arrow in the right column and choosing 'Library Lookup'.

The default will search WorldCat, but you can adjust that in the 'Advanced' tab in 'Preferences'. Insert the OhioLINK link resolver in the OpenURL resolver box.

Indexing PDFs

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

  1. Enable PDF indexing on the Search tab of Zotero's preferences.  Zotero will download and install a small plugin.
  2. Drag your PDF files into the Zotero pane.
  3. Right-click the PDF 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.

Zotero Timelines

Timelines offer a way for you to visualize your items in your collection. Read more about Zotero timelines.

Or, view the Zotero timelines screencast tutorial.

Zotero timelines

Change the Location of Your Library

By default, your Zotero library is stored in Firefox on your computer. You can change the location of the library to a portable drive or elsewhere.

  1. Quit Firefox, copy your Zotero library, and paste it in the new location. The Zotero folder is in your Firefox profile directory – see the Zotero FAQ to find the exact location.
  2. Click on the Actions icon menu   () and select Preferences.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Click on the Custom radio button under Storage Location.
  5. A Select Zotero Data Directory window will appear. Once you select a directory for your library, Zotero will restart Firefox. All of your Zotero data will now be saved in the new directory.

Search for Your Saved Citations in Zotero

Once you have citations in your Zotero library, you need to be able to find specific records. There are two different kinds of searches: quick search and advanced search.

Quick Search

  1. Click on the collection you would like to search in the Left Panel.
  2. Type your search term into the Search field in the Middle Panel. The field will search as you type.
  3. Results for your search will appear in the Middle Panel. These results will only be from the collection you selected in Step 1.

Searching with Tags

You can use the tags associated with the different items to find them. (More information on tags is available in the Working with Tags section of this guide.) These can be the tags that you have created, or ones that were downloaded with the record from a library catalog or database.

  1. Make sure all the tags are showing by clicking the Actions button (Tag actions icon) in the Left Panel and choose Show Automatic. All the tags from selected collection are now displayed.
  2. Click on a tag, and you will only see items that have that tag. You can further narrow your search by clicking on additional tags. To deselct tags, click on them again.

Advanced Search

You can also do an advanced search in a collection if you want your search to be more specific.

  1. Click on the collection you would like to search in the Left Panel.
  2. Click on the Advanced Search icon (Advanced search icon) in the Middle Panel. A window will appear prompting your search with several different search capabilities.
  3. Choose a search category the Title pulldown menu on the left, and type in a corresponding search term. Add the search term by clicking the plus sign (Plus sign) next to it.
  4. Continue this process until you have all the terms you would like to search for. You can delete search terms by clicking the minus sign (Minus sign) next to them.
  5. Click Search. Results for your search will appear below.

Search screen

Note: You can save and name your search for future reference by clicking on Save Search and typing in a name. The search will be saved in the Left Panel. Any new items added to the library will be picked up automatically in these saved searches.