Blog/20140329 Zotero

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So I've been playing around with Zotero.

The most convenient way of running Zotero is as a FF browser extension. I would say to try that first. If you do that, then the zotero link at the bottom right of FF opens up the Zotero pane.

You can do this by using cmd-shift-Z as well [OS-X], see here for more shortcuts (and for Windows): shortcut keys.

(If you have Zotero standalone open, the Zotero button does make Zotero stand-alone the active application, and cmd-shift-Z also does this. So if you have Zotero stand-alone, close it first.)

To save the current item: cmd-shift-S saves the current item (same as the blue "document (+)" button in the Zotero pane). Now, here's the important bit: This ONLY works if you are on a page that is "recognised" by Zotero, e.g. an amazon book page.

If you are browsing a pdf file, the short cut DOES NOT work, which is strange. However, the blue "document (+)" button in the zotero pane DOES work. That's the best way I have found to add pdf files directly. If you have Zotero stand alone open, this convenient way of importing pdf files isn't possible. You'd have to save and then import, or alternatively drag the url into Zotero stand-alone.

If you have e.g. a group library selected, the pdf will be automatically added to the library, which is convenient. You can also watch this: [1].

Things that I haven't figured out:

  • How to automatically "retrieve metadata for pdf" - surely this should be automatic? I need to check settings.
  • When you somehow have imported a link to a pdf without the pdf itself, there doesn't seem to be a button/option for "retrieve the pdf now". You can follow the link to the file online, and then say "Attach snapshot of current page", which adds the pdf file. Still, it's a little unintuitive.

As I am fairly new to Zotero, it's possible that I haven't fully understood how to do this, so forum question here. Outcome: [2].

Make sure that in the preferences you have ticked these two:

  • Automatically take snapshots
  • Automatically attache associated PDFs

I have also installed Zotfile. I am hoping that if in a shared collection a pdf file gets annotated, then it will be synched back with the online storage, so that others can see the highlights. It would be good if that worked (as I normally start by annotating a pdf file).

You might also like to have a look at our Zotero Self-Paced Study Guide if you are new to Zotero!

Also see [3].

Thank you Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University for developing Zotero: "[The center] has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. The center itself is a democratic, collaborative space where over fifty scholars, developers, designers, and researchers work together to advance the state of the art."

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