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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Zotero for Humanists

Adding Items (Data) to Zotero


The icon location may change depending on your browser and how you have your toolbar organized. Usually, the icons appear to the right of the browser's address bar.

The icon will also change as you look at different item types. See images below for a few examples.

Customize Your Items

Check the imported data: 

  • The default view in the third column is the "info," and this is where you'll see fields containing an item's citation data.  
  • Citation information does not always come in cleeanly--check imported citation info for accuracy!  You can add, delete, and revise all citation fields as needed.  
  • You can also change "item type" without losing citation data.

Keep it all together: 

Using Zotero's right-hand column pane, you can add your notes, tags, and files to individual citations.

Add Items by ISBN

Have the book in front of you and want to add it to your Zotero library without having to search for a citation?

If you have a book's ISBN, an online article's DOI or PMID number, just click the magic wand button: "Add item by identifier." Type in the book or article's number, and Zotero will automatically download its information and save it to your library.


Manual Add

There may be times when you need to add an item to your library by hand.  If so, use the green "plus" icon and choose the type of item from the dropdown list.  A window will open with the appropriate fields to complete for that item type.

Adding to Account

The Zotero desktop application is a powerful piece of software.  Sometimes, though, you may not have access to your desktop application.  No problem!  It's still possible to save, organize, and edit your citations by simply saving them to your account.  Note:  Browser connecter(s) must be installed for this method to work.

1.  Login to your account

2.  Check for the browser connector.  Is it installed?  Look for the capture icons near the browser's address bar.  Install the appropriate browser connecter from the website if necessary.

3.  To add an item to your library, click the capture icon as you normally would when using your desktop application.

The screenshots below show two popup windows you are likely to see when you first attempt to add to your online library:



Just remember...your online library looks a bit different from your desktop library and it cannot perform all the same functions.

Add Items from Mobile

Scan Books into Zotero from Your iPhone or iPad 

This post also includes a work-around for non-Apple devices

Import Saved PDFs

If you already have some PDFs saved from past research, just drag and drop them from a desktop folder nto your Zotero library. Zotero will automatically search online and match the PDFs with citations if possible. Right clicking or command+click will also produce a menu where you can attempt to retrieve metadata for specific PDFs.

Convert an Existing Bibliography

You may drag saved bibliography files iinto your Library, and Zotero will do its best to extract and format the source information. Read the easy-to-follow directions in Zotero's thorough documentation.

If you have a basic plain-text document, AnyStyle makes the transfer process simple (see more about half-way down the documentation page).

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