How to manage references and citations in Zotero

Learn how to add, manage, and organize your references in Zotero, then cite them in MS Word and create a bibliography.
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  • Lectures 25
  • Video 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
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About This Course

Published 8/2015 English

Course Description

This online course is for anyone who would like to learn Zotero (pronounced zoh-TAIR-oh), a free tool for managing and citing your bibliographic references. The lessons are designed for complete beginners and I'll walk you through every step with clear instructions, and short videos.

We'll cover topics including:

  • Installing Zotero
  • Adding items
  • Organizing your library
  • Searching
  • Creating citations in Word
  • Adding new styles
  • Sharing your references
It should take you no more than 2 hours to complete the course. By this time you'll be a confident Zotero user and ready to produce well-formatted academic papers.

What are the requirements?

  • You'll just need a PC or Mac and an internet connection. There's no need to install Zotero in advance, as we'll cover this step at the beginning.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Manage thousands of references with ease.
  • Output them in different formats.
  • Collect useful references
  • Record what you've read.
  • Create bibliographies in seconds.
  • Produce well formatted academic papers.

What is the target audience?

  • This course is designed for students who are new to Zotero or have only limited experience. No prior knowledge is required. If you're already an experienced Zotero user, you might not learn anything more.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction & welcome
02:21

Hello, and a very warm welcome. This is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. Thank you so much for choosing my Zotero course. I've been using Zotero for over 6 years and can honestly say that it's made my life much easier. Through workshops and online learning, I've also shown hundreds of researchers how to use this excellent tool. Over the next couple of hours, I'd really like to make your life easier, too.

Zotero detects when you're viewing details of a book or journal article online and allows you to save the full bibliographic details with one click. So there's no need for you to manually type all the information. If the source is an online journal article or a webpage, Zotero can also save a copy of the full text. You can then organize your references into folders (called Collections), and also add notes and tags. This means you can manage your references in a way meaningful to you. I'll be showing you lots of examples later on.

Anything saved to your Zotero library is searchable, including the full text of journal articles and your notes.

Zotero works with Word so you can quickly create perfectly formatted citations as you write. All the major referencing styles are included by default, and you can download thousands more, including many journal-specific styles.

Your Zotero library is accessible through any computer with an internet connection.

By the end of this course, you should have a much better way of managing and citing your references, generating bibliographies, and keeping track of what you've read. With the help of videos and notes, I'll guide you through every step. I've included a full transcript for every lecture and you can post a question on the discussion tab at any time. I've tried to keep this course as succinct and simple as possible - I'm not going to attempt to cover absolutely everything that Zotero can do - just what you need to start using it effectively.

Please take a look at my introductory text in the next section, then you can get started with the first video lecture.

Thanks again for joining me; I hope you enjoy the course!

Section 2: Install Zotero
Technical requirements
Article
03:22

Hello, this is Catherine from thedigitalresearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to install Zotero for Windows, then add a connector so it'll work with whatever browser you're using. It's very straightforward, and shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes to get everything set up.

First go to the Zotero download page and click the big red Zotero for Windows button. It's quite a large file, so it might take a few minutes to download, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

When it's finished downloading, click the file. The files are extracted, then you'll see the setup wizard.

Click Next, accept the standard defaults (they're all fine), click Next again, then click Install. You can relax for a few moments while Zotero is installed.

OK, that's all done. If you check the box, Zotero is launched automatically when you click Finish.

REGISTERING FOR A ZOTERO ACCOUNT

At this point, you might have been prompted to register for a Zotero account. This means that you'll be able to use your Zotero library across multiple computers and also ensures that your valuable data is backed up.

If you weren't automatically taken to the registration page, please return to the Zotero website and click Register in the top right-hand corner.

Complete the form, using a secure password. Keep a note of your login details, as you'll need them for the next lesson.

INSTALLING A BROWSER CONNECTOR

There's one more quick task before we can get started - you need to install a connector, which allows Zotero to talk to your web browser and import bibliographic data from library catalogues and databases.

Zotero is only fully compatible with Firefox and Chrome, so you'll need to use one of those browsers.

If you're confident in adding browser extensions, you can safely skip the rest of this video; otherwise, please continue watching for step-by-step guidance.

First I'll demonstrate how to install the Chrome connector, then move on to Firefox.

INSTALLING THE CHROME CONNECTOR

OK, first you need to return to the Zotero downloads page. Click the Chrome button, which should be highlighted if that's the browser you're using.

Now you'll be taken to the Chrome Store. Once you've landed, click Add to Chrome. You'll be asked to confirm that you want to install the connector by clicking Add.

Wait a few seconds and then you'll see a message to say that the Zotero connector has been added.

INSTALLING THE FIREFOX CONNECTOR

Finally, here's how to add the connector for Firefox.

Go to the Zotero downloads page and click the Firefox button. You'll now see a pop-up message. Click Allow so that the connector can be installed. You need to confirm it again by clicking Install Now. Don't worry about the alarming messages - Zotero is perfectly safe.

Restart Firefox and your connector is ready to use.

Right, now we can start using Zotero.

03:35

Hello, this is Catherine from thedigitalresearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to install Zotero on a Mac, then add a connector so it'll work with whatever browser you're using. It's very straightforward, and shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes to get everything set up.

First go to the Zotero download page (www.zotero.org/download) and click the big red Zotero for Mac button. It's quite a large file, so it might take a few minutes to download, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

When it's finished downloading, click the file and wait a moment while it opens.

Now you need to click and drag the Zotero icon to install it in your Applications folder.

Once the files have been copied, installation is complete.

REGISTERING FOR A ZOTERO ACCOUNT

At this point, you might have been prompted to register for a Zotero account. This means that you'll be able to use your Zotero library across multiple computers and also ensures that your valuable data is backed up.

If you weren't automatically taken to the registration page, please return to the Zotero website and click Register in the top right-hand corner.

Complete the form, using a secure password. Keep a note of your login details, as you'll need them for the next lesson.

INSTALLING THE BROWSER CONNECTOR

There's another quick task before we can get started - you need to install a connector, which allows Zotero to talk to your web browser and import bibliographic data from library catalogues and databases.

Zotero is only fully compatible with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, so you'll need to use one of those browsers.

If you're confident in adding browser extensions, you can safely skip the rest of this video; otherwise, please continue watching for step-by-step guidance.

First I'll demonstrate how to install the Chrome connector, then move on to Firefox, and finally Safari.

INSTALLING THE CHROME CONNECTOR

OK, first you need to return to the Zotero downloads page (www.zotero.org/download). Click the Chrome button, which should be highlighted if that's the browser you're using.

Now you'll be taken to the Chrome Store. Once you've landed, click Add to Chrome. You'll be asked to confirm that you want to install the connector by clicking Add.

Wait a few seconds and then you'll see a message to say that the Zotero connector has been added.

And now for Firefox.

INSTALLING THE FIREFOX CONNECTOR

Go to the Zotero downloads page (www.zotero.org/download) and click the Firefox button. You'll now see a pop-up message. Click Allow so that the connector can be installed. You need to confirm it again by clicking Install Now. Don't worry about the alarming messages - Zotero is perfectly safe.

Restart Firefox and your connector is ready to use.

INSTALLING THE SAFARI CONNECTOR

Finally, here's how to add the connector for Safari.

Go to the Zotero downloads page (www.zotero.org/download) and click the Safari button. Now find the file that has been added to your Downloads folder and click it.

You'll be asked to confirm that you want to install the connector, then it's all done.

Right, everything is installed and now we're ready to start using Zotero.

Section 3: Finding your way around
03:07

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to introduce you to Zotero. We'll take a look at the interface so you can familiarize yourself with the main features. I'll also show you how to set up your login details so that you can access your library across multiple devices.

OK, so this is my Zotero library. Yours will look a bit sparse at the moment, but we'll soon start filling it with items. I'm showing you my real library so you can get a sense of how everything works.

So, over here on the left you can see My Library. Within it are various collections which relate to the projects I'm working on. For instance, I have a collection for my thesis, and one for teaching. We'll work with collections in Lesson 5.

Underneath my collections are my Group Libraries. This is a way of sharing some of your references with other people. I'll show you how they work in Lesson 10.

In the bottom left-hand corner you'll see the Tag Browser. Tags are a way of labelling and then filtering your items, which becomes very useful once you have more than a few dozen. We'll be investigating tags in Lesson 5.

The middle column is where Zotero displays a list of the items that belong to a particular collection or tag. If you have My Library selected in the left-hand column, it'll show everything.

If I select my Publishing collection, then select one of the items within it, the bibliographic details are displayed in the right-hand column. You can see here that I have all the necessary information for creating a citation.

The toolbar up the top here will make sense once we start using some of the features in Zotero. The most important icon for now is Actions, the one that looks like a cogwheel. We'll be using it in a moment to enter your login details.

This is the search box to the right of the toolbar, and we'll be exploring different types of search in Lesson 6.

So, now you know the main elements of Zotero. Hopefully, you can already see how it might help you organise your references.

LOGGING IN

Now I'm going to show you how to enter your login details in Zotero.

Click the cogwheel up here on the toolbar, then choose Preferences. Click the Sync tab and now you can enter your username and password. Use the link to the right if you haven't yet created an account or have forgotten your details. When you've finished, click OK.

Once that's done, you can rest assured that your library is backed up, assuming your computer is connected to the internet. We'll look at syncing in more detail in Lesson 11.

Now that you've been introduced to Zotero, you can start adding some items.

Section 4: Adding references
05:16

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to add items to your Zotero library. There are a few different methods that I'll demonstrate. Firstly, we'll add a book using the browser connector that we installed earlier. Secondly, I'll show how easy it is to add a book simply by typing the ISBN. And finally I'll explain what to do if you need to add a book manually.

USING THE BROWSER CONNECTOR

The easiest way to add books to Zotero is through bibliographic websites or databases. Zotero automatically senses when you're viewing these sites and gives you the opportunity to download the data with one click. This functionality works on most library catalogues and on major websites such as Amazon.

If a website is compatible with Zotero, you'll see a small icon in the address bar of your browser. It's important that Zotero needs to be running for this to work properly. Here I've found a book on Copac, a very useful website that aggregates a large number of library catalogues. You can see that Zotero is displaying a book icon.

Please note that you'll only see the icon if you're using the browser for which you installed the connector at the beginning of the course.

For users of the Safari browser, the Zotero icons appear to the left of your address bar and are easily missed.

Click on the icon, and a small dialogue box appears in the bottom right-hand corner of your browser window that says “Saving item …”.

Now you can see that those book details have been added to my Zotero library.

If you have a Collection selected in the left-hand column, that's where your item will land; otherwise, it's just added to your library.

TIDYING UP YOUR REFERENCES

Now, sometimes the data you import from websites can be a bit untidy. You can see in this example that the book title is all in lowercase, which, for pedants like me, is unacceptable. Fortunately, it's very easy to convert it with a couple of clicks. Right-click on the title field, choose Transform Text, then Title Case.

If you want just the first word capitalized, choose Sentence Case.

That's much better!

This also works on the Short Title field. This field is used for an abbreviated version of your book title, used for citing subsequent references. If you have a really long title, you don't want to have to include the whole thing every time (especially if you're working against a word limit).

In this example, we've saved 10 words by including a short title.

So, that's the quickest way to add a book. You can also use this method to add multiple books. If I return to COPAC and view a search results page, you can see that Zotero icon in my address bar has changed to a yellow folder. This indicates that Zotero has found multiple items. Click the icon and you're presented with a list of books and can choose which ones to save to your library.

ADDING ITEMS BY IDENTIFIER

If you already have a pile of books on your desk that you want to add to Zotero, it might be quicker to add them by entering the ISBN - Zotero then retrieves the rest of the details for you.

Click the magic wand icon on the toolbar, type in the ISBN, press return, and Zotero does the rest.

I'll be showing you what else you can do with this feature in the next lecture.

ADDING ITEMS MANUALLY

Finally, if you're working with old or unusual books that aren't on a database and don't have an ISBN, you'll need to add them manually.

Click the green plus sign icon and choose the publication type (Zotero automatically shows the 5 most popular types, and this will aut matically update to the 5 that you use most frequently). Clicking More reveals another few dozen types. In this instance, I'm adding a book. Zotero creates a blank record ready for you to complete.

Then just fill in the details you need. Under author, you should enter the surname first. If you've already entered another item by this author, Zotero displays their name for you to click.

To add multiple authors, click the plus sign next to the field. If you want to add an editor or translator, click the arrow next to the author for more options.

Now complete the rest of your fields. As before Zotero prompts you to use previously entered data, so you'll become speedier at adding items manually.

OK, now you know how to add books your Zotero library. In the next lecture, I'll show you how to start adding journal articles and introduce you to a couple of my favourite Zotero features.

05:18

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to add journal articles to your Zotero library. There are a few different methods that I'll demonstrate. Firstly, we'll look at adding articles from a journal database. Then we'll move on to importing existing PDFs from your computer. And finally I'll show you what to do if a database isn't compatible with Zotero. Don't panic, there's always a solution.

The process for adding a journal article is very similar to adding a book. Here I'm viewing an article in the JSTOR database (www.jstor.org) and you can see that there's a Zotero icon in my address bar. If I click it, all the details are saved to my Zotero library.

Here's the record. Zotero has imported all the endless details that you need to cite an article, saving you a lot of tedious typing. Even better, Zotero has actually saved a PDF of the article and attached it to the record. So, I have access to the full text, too. Not all databases will let you grab the PDF, but most of them do.

You'll notice here that the file name for the attached PDF isn't very meaningful. You can easily change it by right-clicking (command-clicking for Mac users) and choosing Rename File from Parent Metadata. Zotero creates a new filename based on the author, title, and date of publication.

As with adding books, you can save the details of multiple journal articles by clicking the folder icon while you're on the search results page. With a few clicks I've saved the details of half a dozen articles, along with PDFs. This is really helpful when you're gathering material for a literature search.

I click OK. At the bottom I can see that Zotero is saving those articles. And here they are in my Zotero library, complete with PDF attachments. As before, I can give these PDFs more meaningful titles by right-clicking and choosing Rename File from Parent Metadata.

IMPORTING PDFs

You might already have quite a few PDFs of journal articles on your computer, in which case it would be very boring to have to go and find them all in a database. In most cases, you can easily import them into Zotero.

First find where your PDF is located. Mine is on the desktop so I can see it easily. Now click and drag your PDF into the middle column of Zotero. Make sure it doesn't attach itself to an existing item.

Right-click the PDF (or command-click on a Mac) and then choose Retrieve Metadata for PDF.

Zotero imports the details from Google Scholar, creates a new item, then attaches the PDF. Unfortunately, this feature doesn't find all journal articles, although it works in most cases.

You can see now that a new item has been created, and my original PDF appears below it. I really love this feature.

This works with multiple PDFs, too - just select those PDFs in the middle column by holding down the shift key and clicking them (for Windows users) or pressing command and clicking (for Mac users).

IMPORTING RIS FILES

As I said earlier, not all databases work with Zotero. Most of them do these days, which just makes it more frustrating when you find one that doesn't. However, there is a solution that'll work in most cases. Zotero understands a file format called RIS, which stands for Research Information Systems. Many databases allow you to download citations in this format and then import them into Zotero.

Let's have a look at how to do it.

Here I'm using the Scopus database (www.scopus.com). You can see at the top here that there's an option to export the record that I want. If I click on it, I can choose RIS format. I now click Export again and the RIS file is downloaded.

Make sure Zotero is running, then click on the downloaded file.

I'm asked to confirm that I want to import the file into Zotero. I can also check the box to add it to a new collection; otherwise it's added to whatever collection I currently have selected in Zotero.

Click OK, and the new item is added.

Not all databases will work in exactly the same way, but this gives you an idea of how to do it.

OK, so that's three ways to add journal articles. In the next lecture, I'll show you how to link to journal articles that you've saved to Evernote or Dropbox and also explain why you might want to do so.

04:51

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to link to journal articles you've saved in Dropbox or Evernote.

ZOTERO STORAGE LIMITS

Firstly, I'll explain why you might want to store your journal article PDFs elsewhere. One possibility is that you're already using either Dropbox or Evernote to store and manage PDFs, and you don't want to duplicate them in Zotero.

Also, there is a limit to how much data you can store in Zotero for free. The current limit is 300Mb, which equates to a few hundred PDFs. Once you've reached this threshold, you need to pay an annual subscription before you can sync any more data.

To check how much space you've used, you need to visit the Zotero website. If you're not already logged in, do so by clicking the link in the top-right hand corner.

Now click Settings at the top, then the Storage link over here on the right. You can see your quota and how much of it you've used. As I'll be explaining in a moment, I've increased my quota, so it'll look more generous than yours.

If you're nudging towards 100%, you could simply click Purge Storage to delete all your attachments. It's very unlikely you actually want to do this, though.

A less dramatic solution is to switch off syncing, which you can do in Zotero preferences.

Click the cogwheel, then Preferences. Click the Sync tab and then uncheck the box that says Sync attachment files in My Library.

The problem with this, however, is that you'll only be able to access your PDFs on the computer where they are saved - they won't be synced to all your devices. Also, they're not backed up to the Zotero server.

The good news is that extra Zotero space is actually very cheap. I've upgraded mine to 2Gb, at a cost of $20 a year. This should give me space for several thousand PDFs. If you have more than me, you can get 6Gb for $60 a year, or unlimited space for $120. As far as I concerned, $20 is a small price to pay to have all my PDFs safely stored on Zotero and accessible from all my devices.

If, for whatever reason, you still want to link to journal articles that you've saved elsewhere, here's how to do it.

I'll demonstrate how to link to a Dropbox file from a Zotero item, then show you how to do it in Evernote, too.

LINKING TO AN ARTICLE IN DROPBOX

First go to Dropbox.com and find the relevant file.

Now click the Share button next to the file name.

Copy the link that appears (you can use Ctrl+C on Windows or Command+C on a Mac) and click Close.

Next, return to Zotero. Right-click on the item to which you want to attach your PDF, click Add Attachment, then Attach Link to URI.

Paste your Dropbox link into the box and click OK.

Now you should see that the Dropbox link is attached to your item. If the title looks a bit messy, simply click on it and enter some more meaningful text.

You can view the PDF by selecting the attachment and clicking the link to the right.

And here's my article in Dropbox.

LINKING TO AN ARTICLE IN EVERNOTE

The process for linking to a journal article in Evernote is very similar. If you're unfamiliar with Evernote, it's a marvellous piece of software for capturing your research material. You can use it to store pretty much anything in digital format. I use it every day, and love it almost as much as I love Zotero.

Anyway, find the relevant note in Evernote. Click the down arrow next to Share at the top, then choose Copy Share URL.

As with Dropbox, you can now return to Zotero, right-click on the item to which you want to attach your PDF, click Add Attachment, then Attach Link to URI. Again, you can click on the title and rename your attachment.

And here's my article in Evernote.

OK, so that's how to link to external files. I've shown you the two that I'm asked about most often, but you should be able to work out how to use this method with any other applications that you might be using.

02:15

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to save webpages or blog posts to Zotero. Now that there are so many academic blogs and other useful online resources, there's a growing need to cite webpages properly. Zotero makes it very simple.

You'll see in my address bar that Zotero is displaying an icon. This means it's found some compatible data. If I click it, Zotero creates a record and also takes a snapshot of the page. This means I can always see what that page looks like, even if it's updated, deleted, or offline.

Here it is in Zotero.

Zotero has saved some information, including the website title, and a short abstract. You might want to edit the details to include the author's full name, if you know it, and the date. All the major citation styles have a format for webpages, and Zotero will take care of it.

Zotero has chosen Web Page as the Item Type, but there's actually one specifically for blog posts. I'll change that now.

If I right-click on my item, I can choose either to view the blog post online, or to display my saved snapshot. Clicking View Snapshot displays the files that Zotero has saved to your computer. As I said earlier, you now have a permanent record of the webpage as it looked when you added it to Zotero.

Unfortunately, Zotero isn't able to recognize all webpages in this way. If you're viewing a webpage and don't see an icon in your address bar, there's another method you can use. Right-click on the webpage and then choose Save Page to Zotero from the menu that pops up.

Zotero won't save as many details, but you'll still get a snapshot.

So, that's how to save a webpage. I've never met anyone who can remember how to cite a blog post, so this can save quite a bit of time and confusion.

04:46

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to import libraries from two other applications, EndNote and Mendeley.

Often researchers will try a few reference management tools before finding one they like. This can mean duplication of effort if you've already started adding your references. Fortunately, it's very easy to import them into Zotero.

First, I'll show you how to import your EndNote library in three easy steps. Then I'll move on to Mendeley.

Finally, I'll explain how you can remove duplicate items, which is a common problem when you add references to Zotero from many different sources.

ENDNOTE

OK, let's look at EndNote.

First of all, you need to change your EndNote settings. This is so you can export your data in a format that Zotero can recognize. In EndNote, click Edit at the top, then Output Styles, then Open Style Manager. You'll see a long list of styles here.

Scroll a long way down till you find one called RefMan. Pressing the R key should take you there a lot more quickly. Now check the box next to RefMan and close the Style Manager. Make sure you don't accidentally close EndNote. It's the smaller of the two crosses that you need to click.

So, in Step 2 you're actually going to export your EndNote library. In EndNote, click File, then Export. You'll be prompted to choose a location for your saved file, which is called MyEndNoteLibrary. I'm saving mine to the desktop so that I can find it easily. Make sure the file type is text file, then for the output style choose RefMan, the one that you added in step one. Now click Save.

OK, you're almost there. Now for the final step.

In Zotero, click File then Import. Next find your MyEndNoteLibrary file that you saved earlier. There's mine on the desktop. Click Open, and now Zotero starts importing your items. It's usually very quick.

Here you can see the items I've just imported. They've been added to a collection called My EndNote Library. And from here you can move them into any other collection within your Zotero library.

Unfortunately, Zotero won't retain your EndNote groups or file attachments, but this method does save you a lot of inputting.

MENDELEY

Now let's move on to Mendeley, which is even easier.

In the middle column of Mendeley, select the items you'd like to export. If you want everything, it's quickest to click All Documents on the left, click the first item in the list, then press Ctrl+A (Cmd+A on a Mac).

Now click File > Export (or press Ctrl+E or command+E on a Mac) and save the file somewhere you can easily find it.

You might want to change the file name to My Mendeley Collection so that you know what it is.

Make sure the RIS format is selected, click Save, then close Mendeley.

OK, now open Zotero and click File > Import. Locate the file you just exported from Mendeley. Zotero imports your items and places them in a new collection with the same name as your saved file.

Unfortunately, Zotero won't retain your Mendeley folders or groups, but it does import the PDFs of any attached journal articles.

MANAGING DUPLICATE ITEMS

Once you start adding items to Zotero from different sources, it's very easy to create duplicates that cause confusion later on.

You can easily identify them by clicking Duplicate Items under your Collections in the left-hand column.

Click on one of the items, and you'll be asked to choose which version you want to save. You can easily view the differences by clicking on the different versions. Here I've chosen the one that's most complete.

Now I can click Merge 2 items to delete the other one.

Now my Zotero library is a bit smaller and a lot tidier.

So, that's how to import an EndNote or Mendeley library into Zotero. If you've been using a different bibliographic referencing tool, the process is likely to be very similar.

Section 5: Organizing your library
04:02

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to use collections in Zotero.

Now that you've added some items to Zotero, we can start organizing them. As I explained earlier, My Library holds all of your items. They can also be organized into different Collections, each with their own sub-collections. A collection is simply a list of items, such as all the references for a particular thesis chapter or journal article. You can create as many collections as you need, and your items can appear in multiple collections.

You can see in my Zotero library that I have collections for my thesis, and for various book projects. When I select one of them, I see its contents in the middle column.

To add a new collection, click the folder icon in the top left-hand corner, just above My Library.

Type a name for your collection and press enter or click OK.

Items can then be dragged and dropped into your new collection from the middle column. As I mentioned earlier, items can appear in multiple collections, so you can be as organized as you like.

If you'd like to find out which collection a particular item belongs to, select it in the middle column, then press Ctrl (or the Option key on a Mac). The relevant collection is then highlighted in yellow in My Library.

To see which items haven't been assigned to a collection, click Unfiled Items over here on the left. You can then easily click and drag them to the collections you've created.

Right-click (or command-click on a Mac) to rename a collection, or to delete it. Deleting a collection doesn't delete the items within it. They'll still appear in My Library. So, I can safely delete the My Mendeley Collection that I created in an earlier lecture.

Incidentally, if you do actually want to delete an individual item, right-click it and choose Move Item to Trash. Or you can just opt to remove if from the collection. You'll be asked to confirm the deletion, and the item is sent to your Trash folder. You can retrieve it by right-clicking the item and choosing Restore to Library.

You can also create sub-collections, which are very useful if you're working on large projects. For example, my thesis collection includes sub-collections for each of my chapters.

To create a sub-collection, right-click a collection and choose New Subcollection from the menu.

Alternatively, if you'd like to make an existing collection into a sub-collection, simply click and drag it to the relevant collection. If, like me, you tend to drop it in the wrong place, you can fix it by clicking and dragging it to My Library. Now I can do it properly.

So, you can see that collections are very helpful for navigating around your library, and also for keeping everything organized. They become particularly useful once you're using Zotero to manage multiple projects. Also, as we'll see later, they're great for quickly generating bibliographies and reading lists.

In the next lecture, we'll look at tags, which give you even more control over your Zotero library.

04:06

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to use tags in Zotero.

Tagging is an easy method of categorising or labelling your items by adding keywords. These tags allow you to filter your items in a variety of ways, as we shall see. Tags never appear in your bibliography or citations - they exist purely to help organize your items.

To add a tag, first select your item in the middle column, then click the Tags tab over on the right-hand side.

Now click Add.

Type a name for your tag. I've created one called biography.

To create another tag, click Add again and type the name.

If you change your mind and want to delete a tag, simply click the minus sign next to it.

You can now see that my new biography tag has appeared in the tag selector in the bottom left-hand corner. If I click on it, Zotero displays all the items to which I've assigned that tag.

Now let's have a look at how to assign a tag to multiple items.

First select your items in the middle column. In Windows, hold down the Ctrl key as you click to select items that aren't next to each other (hold the Command key on a Mac).

Then click and drag them onto the relevant tag in the Tag Selector in the bottom left-hand corner of Zotero.

Now, if I click on my biography tag, Zotero displays the items I've just assigned to it.

AUTOMATIC TAGS

I must admit that there's one feature in Zotero that really annoys me. Sometimes items imported from databases will come with their own tags, most of which are a bit lengthy and meaningless. They can really clutter up your Tag Selector. You can disable this annoying feature in Preferences. Click the cogwheel icon, choose Preferences, then the General tab. Then uncheck the box that says Automatically tag items with keywords and subject headings.

If some automatic Tags have already crept it, you can either just delete them by right-clicking (command-clicking on Mac) and choosing Delete Tag, or hide them by clicking the small multi-coloured icon next to the search box and unticking Show Automatic.

COLOR-CODING TAGS

A good way of identifying and easily locating important tags is to color-code them. For instance, I have a tbr tag, which means 'to be read', and a borrow tag to flag books I need to borrow from the library.

To color-code a tag, right-click (command-click on Mac) it in the Tag Selector and choose Assign Color. Pick a color from the swatch and click Set Color. You can do this for up to six tags.

Any items with colored tags assigned to them are flagged with a matching blob in the middle column. It's then easy to see at a glance what items I need to borrow or read.

Or I can click the tag in the Tag Selector to filter my library. To unfilter, simply click the tag again.

If we return to the color-coding, you can see that my tag has also been assigned a numerical keyboard shortcut of 1. This means I can assign this tag to another item by selecting it and pressing 1. To remove it, just click 1 again. This a great time-saver for tags you use most frequently.

There's no right way to use tags, and I'm sure you'll find a system that suits you. In the next lecture, I'll show you another way of linking your items.

02:00

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to create related items in Zotero.

Like tags, related items are a way of creating a relationship between your references. This is useful for establishing connections. For example, in my field of English literature, I can link a novel to all the journal articles that discuss it. Of course, I could simply apply a tag, but adding Related Items, as we shall see, has other benefits.

To create a related item, select the relevant item in the middle column, then click the Related tab in the right-hand column.

Click Add, then either browse or search to locate item you want to link. You can add multiple related items by holding down the control key (or the command key on a Mac) while clicking.

Now you can see that I've linked this novel with various journal articles. Not only am I less likely to forget that they exist, but also I can just click to view any of them. It's like having a hyperlinked database. Zotero has also created a reciprocal link, so I can jump back to my novel.

You can have as many related items as you like. To remove one, just click the minus sign next to it.

So, that's another way of managing your references in Zotero. If you combine related items with tags and collections, you'll end up with a very sophisticated reference tool.

In the next lecture, we'll look at creating notes in Zotero so you include much more information with your references, and even use it for your academic writing.

03:47

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to create notes in Zotero. You can do anything you like with this feature. For example, you might want to simply keep a note of where you accessed a particular book; alternatively, you could use it to record your thoughts on a journal article and start drafting your response to it. A note can be as short or as long as you like[Maximum of 250K characters].

To add a note to an individual item, select it in the middle column then click the Notes tab in the right-hand column. Click Add and then you'll see a mini editor with formatting toolbar.

This feature is similar to a Word document, so you can format your notes with bullet points and styles and be as fancy as you like. You can include different headings to organize the text and even edit it as HTML, if you are so inclined.

As your Zotero library is automatically backed up to the server, this is a good way of keeping your notes safe. You can also copy and paste between Zotero and other applications. To make it easier to type you can click Edit in a Separate Window to give yourself more space and eliminate distractions.

I mainly use notes to record where I've obtained a particular book. When I started my PhD, I was able to hold all of this information in my head, but it became increasingly difficult. So, here I've added a note to say that I borrowed it from my university library. I've also been very organized and included the class mark, so it's very easy for me to retrieve the book if I need to go back and check my quotes. I could combine this with a check quotes tag to generate a list of books to locate.

It's even possible to insert an image in a note. Right-click (command-click on a Mac) in a blank area of your note and choose Insert/Edit Image if you want to insert one from a web address. If the image is on your computer, just click and drag it into your note. You can resize it by clicking on the corner.

This is really helpful if you're working on visual material, or just want a nice photo to cheer yourself up.

My new note appears directly below the item. To delete it, right-click and choose Move Item to Trash. It can be retrieved from here if you change your mind.

To edit an existing note, just double-click on it.

A note doesn't have to be attached to a particular item. To create a standalone note, click the yellow icon next the the magic wand. Start typing and your note will appear in the middle column. You can then click and drag it to a collection in the left-hand column. These notes are useful for recording general thoughts or reminders.

Like tags, notes offer you a great deal of flexibility. Everyone uses them in different ways - some for just very brief notes, while others actual draft their papers within Zotero. It's entirely up to you. The contents of your notes are also fully searchable, as we'll see in the next section.

Section 6: Searching
03:54

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to search your Zotero library. Firstly, I'll demonstrate how to sort your items, then move on to a basic search. Finally, I'll explain how you can configure Zotero to also search the full text of your PDFs.

So, let's start with sorting.

SORTING

To sort items in a collection or in My Library, click on any of the fields at the top of the middle column. For example, if I click on Title, all my items are sorted alphabetically by title.

You can also add more fields for additional sorting options.

Click on the tiny fields icon in the top right-hand corner of the middle column. Now click on the field you want to add. I've chosen Item Type. As the fields are a bit squashed, I'm clicking and dragging the header to make more room.

You can now see the Item Type field. If I click on the header, Zotero sorts my items by type - so books are grouped together, with journal articles underneath.

BASIC SEARCHING

Basic searches are the quickest way of finding specific items in your library. Click inside the search box above the middle column and start typing your search term. As you type, Zotero filters the items in the middle column to display only those that match your search term.

You can change the scope of the search by clicking the arrow to the left of the search box. There are three options:

  • Title, Creator, Year - search just those three fields
  • All fields and tags - search any bibliographic data or tags. So this could include a publisher or a place of publication.
  • Everything - search bibliographic data, tags, PDF content, saved webpages, and notes

Actually, there's something you need to do before you can search PDF content. It shouldn't take more than a minute.

PDF INDEXING

In Zotero, click the cogwheel icon and choose Preferences. Now click the Search tab. You can see here it says that I don't have PDF Indexing installed.

Next click Check for Installer. Confirm that you want to download the files and then wait a few moments while they are installed.

Now the message is updated to say that I have PDF Indexing installed. Click OK.

The PDFs you download from now on are automatically indexed and therefore searchable, but any that were already in Zotero won't be. You'll need to ask for them to be indexed. To do this, click on the PDF in the middle column. In the right-hand column, you'll see that it says No next to Indexed. Simply click on the green arrows and it quickly changes to Yes.

Now when you choose to search Everything, Zotero also looks inside the content of your journal articles, as well as their bibliographic data.

For example, here I've search for the word 'magnetic'. The term doesn't appear in the titles of these journal articles, but Zotero has found it in the PDFs.

So, these techniques ensure that you can quickly find anything you've stored in Zotero, even if you can't remember many of the details. In the next lecture, we'll look at advanced searching and I'll introduce you to some more sophisticated search strategies.

03:38

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to create an advanced search in Zotero. With an advanced search, you can restrict the results to certain item types, for instance, or exclude particular terms. Unlike with a basic search, you can specify multiple terms. This gives you a lot more control.

To create an advanced search, click the magnifying glass in the Zotero toolbar. You can then specify your search terms. This screen is a bit intimidating at first, but I'll explain all of the elements, and show you an example of how it works.

Firstly, decide whether you want to match all or any of your search criteria. Matching all the criteria will produce fewer results, as it's a more specific query. I'm choosing all to keep it broad initially.

Next, specify the field to be search, for example the title, author, or tag. I'm going to choose tag.

Now choose a condition:

Contains – finds Items that contain your search term

Is – finds Items that match your search term exactly

Is not - finds Items that do not match your exact search term, so you could use this to exclude a particular tag.

Does not contain – finds items that don't contain your search term – for example, you could find everything that doesn't mention music in the title

I want to find a particular tag, so I'm choosing is for an exact match.

Enter your search term in the box. I wanted to find items marked with the tbr or 'to be read' tag. Zotero will prompt you with matches from your tag list.

I need to find all the journal articles that I haven't yet read, so I'm going to add another search criterion by clicking the plus sign.

This time, I'm looking for articles. I choose Item Type for the field, then Journal Article.

I want to search all of my collections, so I'm going to click the checkbox to Search subcollections.

Click Search and you'll see the results below.

If there are too many results, you can go back and refine your search.

Now I'm adding another search criterion - this time to find only journal articles with 'Queen Victoria' in the title. This produces far fewer results.

You can also use wildcards in your search. For example, the % allows you to search for parts of words. If I type s-c-i-e-n and a percentage sign, Zotero will find items containing science, sciences, scientific, and scientist. Adding a percentage sign at the beginning will also find conscience and conscientious, as this includes any characters that precede the search term.

All the options might seem overwhelming at the moment, but do give it a try. With practice you'll find advanced searching a very handy feature. In the next lecture, I'll show you how you can save your most useful advanced searches.

02:45

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to create a saved search in Zotero. This builds on what we covered with advanced searching in the previous lecture.

Here I'm creating an advanced search in which I'm seeking books with the tag tbr or 'to be read'. Underneath, you can see there's an option to save my search. I click save and then give it a title. This creates a list of results that is automatically updated when I add matching items to my library.

Saved searches appear in the left-hand column, below your collections. They resemble a folder with a magnifying glass.

So, next time I want to find all the books I need to read, I can simply click this saved search, rather than retyping all my terms.

Now I'm going to add the tbr tag to another book so you can see what happens.

When I return to my saved search, you can see that this book now appears in the results, as it now matches my search criteria.

Your saved searches are updated automatically when Zotero finds more matching items. If you remove a tag from a book, for example to record that you've read it, the book is removed from your saved search results.

Here's another example of what you could do with saved searches. If, like me, you add lots of items to Zotero and then forget to do anything with them, a saved search could help you to quickly find everything that needs checking and filing.

In this advanced search, I've asked Zotero to find everything I've added within the last 7 days. So, I've selected the Date Added field, is in the last, then 7, and days. I could also choose months or years.

Once I've saved it, my search appears over here. Now I just need to remember to look at it every week.

So, saved searches can save you some time if you find yourself regularly using the advanced search feature.

Section 7: Using Zotero with MS Word
02:27

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to start using Zotero with Word. Although adding and organizing your references is useful, it's the Word plugin that normally makes users fall in love with Zotero.

I'm going to show you how to install the Word plugin, then talk you through how it works.

Incidentally, Zotero also works with OpenOffice, which is a free alternative to Microsoft Office. Both plugins work in a similar way.

OK, let's install it.

In Zotero, click the cogwheel icon and then choose Preferences. Go to the Cite tab and it'll tell you whether you need to install the Word plugin. You can see here that I don't have it installed.

So, I click Install Microsoft Word Add-in and wait a few moments.

While you're here, check the box for Use classic Add Citation dialog. This will make citing references more straightforward while you're getting used to Zotero.

Now open Word. Where the Zotero toolbar appears is determined by whether you're using a PC or a Mac, and also by the version of Word you have installed. For Windows users, it generally appears in the Add-ins tab; For Mac users, it is often perched on top of Word.

The tininess of the Zotero toolbar is very annoying, but at present there's no way of making it bigger. Although it's quite difficult to see the icons, let alone work out what they do, they'll soon become second nature. Let's take a look at them now.

The first icon, Insert Citation is the one you'll be using most often; then comes Edit Citation, Insert Bibliography, Edit Bibliography, Refresh, Preferences, and Remove Codes. You won't be using the last three very often, but we'll look at what they do a bit later on.

So, now you have the Word plugin installed and know where to find it, we can start creating some citations.

03:39

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to use Zotero to create a citation in Word. After this, you'll wonder why you ever did it manually.

OK, to insert a citation in Word, place your cursor at the end of the quote and click the Insert Citation icon (the first one on the toolbar).

The first time you do this, Zotero asks you to choose a referencing style. This can be changed at any time, so don't worry too much about choosing the right one immediately. We'll look at how to add or change styles later on.

You can also decide whether your citations should appear as footnotes or endnotes - again, you can change this later.

Your Zotero library then pops up. From here, you can either browse through your collections or use the search box to find a particular item.

Click on the item your require, then you can add more information, such as the page number and a prefix and/or suffix.

Here I've added a prefix of 'Cited in' to indicate that this is a secondary source, and a suffix of '[emphasis added]' to explain that the italicization is mine and not in the original.

When you've finished, click OK and the perfectly formatted citation appears in your document. No more wondering about which elements should be italicized or in quotes.

If I add another citation for this reference, Zotero recognizes that it's already been cited and just inserts the author's name and the page number. If I cite multiple sources by the same author, Zotero also includes the title. Even if I move my quotes around, Zotero will update the citation formatting. This is an unbelievably tedious job if you do it manually.

To make changes to a citation, click the Edit Citation icon in the Zotero toolbar (the second from the left). Now you can update the details, such as change the page number. You can also make manual edits to the citation by clicking Show Editor. As the warning message indicates, this won't update your Zotero library - it affects only this citation.

To add multiple sources, click the Multiple Sources button and then select them in the left-hand column. Now click the green arrow to add them to your citation. Click the left arrow to remove them. As before, you can add page numbers, prefixes, and suffixes for each of them.

So, that's how to create a citation in Word. If you're working with more than a few dozen references, this will save you lots of time. In the next lecture, I'll show how how to generate a bibliography.

04:26

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to use Zotero to create bibliographies. First, I'll demonstrate how you can generate a full bibliography from your citations in Word, then I explain how to produce a standalone bibliography from a Zotero collection or search.

OK, so now you know how to create citations, let's add some to a document. Once you've finished, place your cursor where you'd like the bibliography to appear and click Insert Bibliography on the Zotero toolbar (it's the third icon from the left).

Zotero inserts formatted references for all your citations and arranges them alphabetically. Admittedly, that's not very exciting if you're working on a short document, but it's marvellous for a thesis or a book that might contain hundreds, or even thousands, of citations.

You can edit the bibliography using the fourth icon from the left on the toolbar.

Here you can add or remove items using the arrows. You can also tweak the reference in a mini editor.

Any changes you make here won't be reflected in your Zotero library. To make a permanent change, edit the item in Zotero, then click the Refresh icon in Word's Zotero toolbar (it's the third from the right).

To change to a different style format, click the Preferences icon in Word's Zotero toolbar (second from the right).

This affects only the current document (it won't change the style in any other files in which you've cited references using Zotero).

If you want to detach your document from Zotero, for example if you decided to use a different bibliographic referencing tool, click the Remove Codes icon (the first from the right).

It might be worth taking a copy first, though, just in case you change your mind - it cannot be reversed.

CREATING STANDALONE BIBLIOGRAPHIES

Sometimes you'll just want a bibliography on its own, for example for a reading list. You can generate one from within Zotero.

To generate a bibliography from a Collection, right-click (command-click on Mac) it under My Library and choose Create Bibliography from Collection.

You'll then be given some choices. First choose your citation style from the list, then your output method.

  • Save as RTF - Rich Text Format, suitable for use with most wordprocessors, including Word.
  • Save as HTML - provides a format viewable in a web browser, thereby allowing other people to add the citations to their own Zotero library - they'll see the icon in their browser address bar.
  • Copy to Clipboard - for pasting your bibliography into another application.
  • Print - sends your bibliography straight to the printer.

You can also use this feature with items from across different collections. Select the items in the middle column, right-click (command-click on Mac) and then choose Create Bibliography from Selected Items.

If you want to create a bibliography from search results, press Ctrl+A (or Cmd+A on a Mac) in the middle column to select all of them.

So, now you know how create bibliographies with Zotero and Word. I've taught Zotero to many researchers, and it's always this feature that they love best. I hope you find it useful, too.

Section 8: Working with styles
02:14

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how to install additional styles for Zotero. You might have noticed in the previous lectures that only a small number are included by default, but it's very easy to add more. If you start writing journal articles, you'll probably find that you're required to use a particular house style with which you're unfamiliar. Zotero will almost certainly have a style available for that journal and then do all the hard work for you.

To find additional citation styles, first go to the Zotero website.

Search for the one you want, or browse through the various disciplines.

Place your cursor over the style for a preview of how it looks.

Click on the link to download the style, then double-click the downloaded file to install it, and finally confirm that you want to install it.

Now go to your Cite preferences in Zotero by clicking the cogwheel, choosing Preferences, then Cite, and the Styles tab.

You'll see that the new style has been added to my list.

If I want to delete it, I just select it in the list and click the minus sign. While you're here, you could also delete any others that you're unlikely to use.

I can return to an existing document and change the citation style with just a few clicks. Click the Preferences icon in Word's Zotero toolbar (second from the right). Now I can choose the style that I just installed and everything is updated.

You can have as many styles as you like, and even create or edit your own, although it's very likely that the Zotero style repository will already have the one you want.

Now that you've mastered styles, you'll have much more control over your bibliographic referencing and also save yourself some time.

Section 9: Using Zotero with other applications
11:08

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to talk about using Zotero with other writing tools. So far we've been working with Word, and, as I explained earlier, Zotero is also compatible with OpenOffice, a free alternative to Microsoft Office. Increasingly, researchers are choosing not to use Word. I'll show you how you can use Zotero with Google Docs, and then with Scrivener, which is my favorite writing tool.

If you're happy with Word, there's no need for you to watch this video.

Firstly, I should point out that you can easily copy and paste citations from Zotero into any other application. Just select the relevant item in the middle column and click Ctrl+Shift+C (or Command+Shift+C on a Mac). The citation is copied to your clipboard in whatever style you have selected under the Export tab in Preferences.

I use this method to add a citation to notes that I've taken from a book or a journal article. That way, I can't muddle up my sources.

GOOGLE DOCS

If you're using Google Docs for writing, you could just copy and paste your citations. For a more sophisticated approach that will actually integrate your Zotero library, you need a tool called Paperpile. It costs $2.99 per month, but there is a 30-day trial available so you can see whether you like it. It takes seconds to install from the Paperpile website. Once it's set up, you'll see a Paperpile menu in Google Docs, from which you can add citations.

I don't think it's as good as the Word plugin, but some researchers prefer the flexibility and portability of Google Docs.

SCRIVENER

I actually use an application called Scrivener for most of my writing. If you're unfamiliar with it, Scrivener is a word processor and project management tool, rolled into one. It's specifically designed for very long documents, so is perfect for writing a thesis or book.

I haven't yet encountered anyone who doesn't like Scrivener, but many users are frustrated that it isn't integrated with Zotero. Maybe it'll happen one day, but a few workarounds are necessary in the meantime. One is simple, and the other is quite complicated. The latter is much more effective.

Let's start with the simple method.

The Simple Method

This uses a feature called RTF Scan in Zotero. You effectively create placeholders in your Scrivener document, then let Zotero fill them in afterwards.

There are a couple of ways of doing this. You can either type your citations within curly braces, using the format of author, comma, year, then page number. To include a bibliography, type 'Bibliography' in curly braces at the end.

This method isn't ideal, as it relies on your having a remarkable memory or needing to look up each reference in your library. Also, it gets complicated when you have multiple references by the same author, or two authors with the same surname.

A better method is to install the RTF Scan style in Zotero and set it as your default export style under the Export tab in Preferences. This style is available in the repository. For a reminder of how to install and choose a new style, please take a look at the previous lecture.

With the RTf Scan style installed, you can then copy your citations from your Zotero library using Ctrl+Shift+C (or Command+Shift+C) on a Mac. When you paste it into Scrivener, it'll be in the right format with the curly braces.

OK, once you have all your placeholders in Scrivener, export your document as a RTF (Rich Text Format) file (in Windows you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+x, on a Mac it's Shift+Cmd+e).

Now open Zotero. Click the cogwheel icon and choose RTF Scan.

Next select the RTF document you exported from Scrivener and also specify where you want your scanned document to be saved. This is the version that'll contain all your citations.

Zotero displays any citations it has detected. If one is incorrect, you can click on an icon to the right of it to select the correct publication from your Library.

Then choose your output format - so this is your usually citation style (not the special one for Scrivener).

You can see in the new version of my document that Zotero has created a bibliography and endnotes where I'd added placeholders. The formatting needs tidying, but all the citations are there.

Unfortunately, this document won't be linked to your Zotero Library, so you'd have to manually add or edit further citations.

The More Complicated Method

Well, the method I just showed you was relatively straightforward. Now I'm going demonstrate a more complicated, but more sophisticated, method. This approach is better suited to documents that contain a lot of citations. The final document is linked to your Zotero library, so you can easily add or edit citations.

You'll need to install a Zotero plugin and also OpenOffice, if you don't already have it. You can download it from openoffice.org.

Once you have OpenOffice installed, go to your Cite preferences in Zotero and click Install OpenOffice.org plugin. Accept all the defaults by pressing Next, then wait a few moments for the files to be installed. As the message says, you might need to restart your computer.

Now you need to install a Zotero plugin called RTF/ODF Scan. Go to the website and click Download Add-on.

In Zotero, click Tools up the top, then Add-ons, and then the cogwheel icon on the right.

From here, choose Install Add-on From File. Locate the file you downloaded a moment ago.

Click Install Now on the next pop-up window, then you should see the RTF/ODF-Scan add-on in your list.

Next go to Zotero's Export preferences and change the Default Output Format to Scannable Cite.

This creates a special format for citations that you create in Scrivener. It'll become clearer once we look at a few examples.

Go to Zotero and copy the reference you need – the easiest way is to select it in your library, then press Ctrl+Shift+c (or Command+Shift+c on a Mac). This copies your reference to the clipboard in the special 'Scannable Cite' format that we just specified.

Right, now open Scrivener and go to the place where you want to insert a citation. Press Shift+F5 (or Ctrl+Cmd+8 on a Mac) to insert a footnote and then Ctrl+v to paste your citation.

Once you've finished adding your footnotes, export your document as a Rich Text Format file (in Windows you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+x, on a Mac it's Shift+Cmd+e).

If we open the file in Word, the footnotes look a bit odd. Fear not, though, Zotero will make sense of this code.

Now you need to save the document as an ODT file. This is the format used by OpenOffice. So I click File > Save As, then OpenDocument Text at the bottom. Ignore any warning messages - Microsoft doesn't like you using other file formats.

OK, we're almost there, I promise.

Open Zotero, click the cogwheel icon, and choose RTF/ODF Scan.

On the next screen, make sure you choose ODF (to citations). Then select the ODT document you exported from Scrivener and also specify where you want your scanned document to be saved.

Zotero scans through and replaces those odd pieces of code with citations in a new version of the document. Open your document in OpenOffice and you can see the citations. This format style is a bit minimal, but I can click the Document Preferences icon to change it. As you can see, the Zotero toolbar is the same as in Word. I can also create a bibliography. Again, you'll want to tidy up your formatting, but at least all your citations are in the right place.

My document is linked to my Zotero library, which means I can edit and add citations.

Admittedly, this method is a bit fiddly, but I think it's the best workaround if you're determined to use Scrivener with Zotero.

Section 10: Sharing and collaboration
04:42

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you how you can share your Zotero library, or at least parts of it, with other users.

Group libraries are separate from My Library and can be made either public or accessible only by approved users. Within a Group Library you can create collections and tags, as before. This feature is useful if you're working on a collaborative project or want to share references with a class that you're teaching.

To create a Group Library, click the New Group icon above My Library.

You'll be taken to the Zotero website, where you choose a name and other features.

So, now I type a name for my group, then I need to select the group type.

You can opt for a public group - that means everyone can view and join it; closed membership - anyone can view it, but members must be approved; or private membership - only members can view your group and they must be invited to do so.

I'm choosing Private Group for now, but I can change it at any time.

Use Library Settings to specify who can view or edit the Group Library.

Library Reading - so, that's who can see items in this group's library.

Library Editing - who can add, edit, and remove items from this group's library.

It's very safe to give people reading access to your Group Library, but you might want to be selective about who can add or remove items.

Under Group Settings you can add a description, a group picture, and assign your group to an academic discipline. This helps potential members to find you in the Group Libraries directory. Obviously, this is only worth doing if your group is public.

Under Members Settings you can see the Group's members and also send invitations for new people to join.

Giving a user administrative rights means they can change a group's public/private status, members' roles, and group library settings. Group owners also have the power to delete the group or transfer ownership to another member. So, think carefully about the access you grant, especially if you've spent a long time building a group library.

Once your Group Library is created, it'll appear underneath My Library in Zotero. You might need to click the sync icon in Zotero if it isn't yet visible.

Now I can click and drag items into my Group Library. I can also create collections or saved searches. You might want to create a saved search to easily find the latest journal articles that have been added, for instance. There are also options to display unfiled items - that's any that haven't been added to a collection, and also duplicates - a potential problem when there are many users adding stuff.

Your Group Library is also accessible through the Zotero website. You'll have a URL based on your group name - so mine is www.zotero.org/groups/queen_victoria.

When a user joins your group, they'll also see the Group Library in Zotero.

I'm obliged to point out that you shouldn't use group libraries to share copyrighted material, such as journal articles. Publishers take a dim view of this practice and it might cause problems for your institution. If your group is public, Zotero won't actually make any file attachments available to other users. Also, the file storage for Group Libraries is taken from the owner's allowance, so you might run out of free space very quickly if you share too much material.

So, that's how to create a Group Library. Even if you don't have a need for this feature at the moment, it's worth taking a look at the directory on the Zotero website to see whether there are any existing groups suitable for you. Just click Join Group to gain access. This is a good way of finding out what other people are looking at in your field and becoming part of an online community.

Section 11: Technical stuff
03:57

Hello, this is Catherine from theDigitalResearcher.com. In this screencast, I'm going to show you some Zotero settings that you might want to change, talk a bit about syncing, and also tell you how you can get support.

By now you should be familiar with some of Zotero's preferences, but let's take a look at a few other options.

Under the General tab you can change the font size for the Zotero interface. This is helpful if you're visually impaired or even if you've just spent a long time peering at the screen. Underneath, you can also change the font size for your notes.

At the beginning of the course, we saved some journal articles along with PDFs of the full text. If, for whatever reason, you don't want to automatically attach the PDFs, you can switch it off here. Earlier on, I showed you how to disable annoying automatic tags, which can also be done here.

Any deleted items go initially to your trash folder and are held there for 30 days. If you'd rather they remained there a bit longer, just in case, you can increase the number here.

Moving on to Sync settings. I'd recommend that you have the Sync automatically option enabled. By syncing, you can ensure that your library is backed up to the Zotero server and also that it will be available to you from other computers. To manually sync at any time, click the green arrow in the top right-hand corner of Zotero. It's worth doing this if you've just added a lot of items and are planning to switch off your computer before it gets a chance to sync automatically.

Here you can also decide whether you want to sync your attached files. Again, this means they're backed up and also accessible from other computers. As I mentioned in an earlier lecture, you have a free storage limit of 300Mb on the Zotero server, which equates to a few hundred PDFs. Through the Zotero website you can upgrade to 2Gb of space for $20 per year.

As I said, syncing ensures that your library is backed up. If, like me, you're a pessimist, you might want to also back it up yourself. I use a tool called Crashplan to back up all of my files and I'd encourage you to do the same. Whatever you use for backing up - I'm hoping you use something - you can find the location of your Zotero data under the Advanced tab. Click Files and Folders, then Show Data Directory. This is the directory that should be added to your backup job.

Also under the Advanced tab, you'll see Zotero Shortcuts. You can save yourself some time with these if you're using Zotero intensively. Also, you can change the shortcut.

Zotero should alert you automatically when an update is available. You should always install it, as often the updates include bug fixes and performance improvements. One of the many reasons I love the Zotero developers is that they don't keep changing the interface. You won't be subjected to sudden redesigns or major shifts in functionality. If you want to manually check for updates, click Help.

Under Help you can also find a link to Zotero support on the website. There's extensive documentation and the Forums area gives you access to discussions and also the opportunity to post a question. The Zotero community is very friendly and helpful. If you've encountered a problem, it's likely that someone else has, too.

OK, the course is nearly over. In my final lecture, I'll be summarizing what we've covered and suggesting some next steps.

Section 12: Next steps
Thank you & goodbye
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Instructor Biography

Dr Catherine Pope, Digital skills trainer and author

I'm a digital skills trainer and author, helping researchers and writers make better use of technology. I've been running workshops for 5 years and have helped hundreds of students with everything from creating a blog to keeping up-to-date in their subject. My recent ebooks include Managing Your Research with Evernote, How to Write Your Thesis with Scrivener and How to Manage References with Zotero.

For 12 years I worked as an IT manager and web developer, before gaining a PhD in Victorian literature from the University of Sussex. I'm now combining my experience of technology and education through online teaching.

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