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Using Zotero at Princeton

Using Zotero at Princeton

Zotero for Google Docs

Zotero and Scrivener

Method #1: RTF/ODF SCAN

  1. Install Scrivener and ZotereoScrivener is available as a desktop application for MacOS, iOS, and Windows.  
  2. Install the RTF/ODF-Scan for Zotero.  It reads citation markers that you insert into any document saved as .odt format  and then converts those into active Zotero citations. To install this in the Standalone version of Zotero:
    • Once you’ve downloaded the file, go to Tools –> Add-ons.  Click on the little gear icon in the upper right, and select Install Add-on From File.
    • Browse to the downloaded rtf-odf-scan-for-zotero.xpi file,  select it, and you’re in business. (If you do not see Scannable Cite in the dropdown, follow these instructions.)
    • Now, in Zotero when you fire up the “RTF scan” process it’ll work on .odt files as well.
  3. Set Zotero’s default output format to Scannable Cite. Under Zotero–>Preferences, find the Export tab. Under the “Default Output Format” setting, choose “Scannable Cite”. zotero-preferences-export
  4. Insert placeholder citations into Scrivener from Zotero (e.g., by setting your default export format to Scannable Cite and dragging from Zotero
  5. When you are done writing, export from Scrivener as “ODT”.
  6. In Zotero, click Tools -> RTF Scan -> ODF Scan and select your document to have Zotero convert the placeholders to live Zotero citations.
  7. Open the document in LibreOffice (free, open source Word) to finish formatting. 
  8. Zotero ODF Scan Help 


METHOD #2: RTF Scan (Zotero says this is less reliable)

  1.  In Scrivener, insert a citation in the body of a text document, using the one of the supplied formats, e.g. {Anderson, 2016} . Note that you should insert the citation in the body of the document, and not in a Scrivener-style footnote.
  2.  In Scrivener, insert {Bibliography} in the body of a text document, in the spot where you would like the Bibliography to appear (assuming you want the references at the end)
  3.  In Scrivener, compile the document, using RTF as the output format.
  4. In Zotero, go to Tools > RTF Scan. Zotero will prompt you to select input and output files. Select the RTF file that you created in the previous step. You can also select an output file, or you can accept the default file created by Zotero. Click Next.
  5.  Zotero will display a table and ask you to confirm any ambiguous references. (I'm not sure why it always does this; at least for me, the references should not be ambiguous.) Ensure that every Citation listed in the table has a corresponding Item Name. i.e. if the "Item Name" field is blank, you must select a Citation. Once you have done this, click Next.
  6. Zotero will prompt you to select a citation style, e.g. MLA or APA. Select a style and click Next.
  7. Zotero will confirm that your document has been scanned. Open the document and confirm that the formatting is correct.

Zotero RTF Scan Help 

Zotero and Overleaf

To use Zotero Integration with Overleaf, please follow these steps. For more information visit Overleaf's Bibliography management in LaTex page. Contact Willow Dressel ( with questions about using Overleaf.

  1. Make sure you have created a Zotero account online and that it is synced with Zotero Standalone.
  2. Log into Overleaf and navigate to 'Account Settings.'
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the settings page to find 'Zotero Integration.
  4. Click on 'Link to Zotero' and you will be prompted to log into Enter the username and password you used when creating your Zotero account online
  5. Once you have logged into Zotero, you will be prompted to create a 'New Private Key.' The 'Key Description' defaults to a word or phrase associated with the third party application that would like to access your Zotero library (in this case Overleaf).
  6. Click on 'Accept Defaults' and you will be automatically returned to your Overleaf account settings page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find 'Zotero Integration' again. You should see both 'Account is linked' and 'Unlink Zotero.'
  7. Scroll back up to the top of the account settings page and click on 'Projects.' Then, from your 'Projects' page, select the project you want to connect to Zotero.
  8. Add a bibliography package such as bibtex, natbib, or biblatex to the preamble of your project using the \usepackage{} command.
  9. Once you are viewing a specific project, select 'New File' from the top right menu.
  10. You will be prompted with a number of choices. Select 'From Zotero' and you will be prompted to name your file and to choose a format  to match your package (BibTeX or BibLaTeX). Once you have named your file and picked a format, click on 'Create.'
    PLEASE NOTE: Your filename must end with .bib for it to work properly.
  11. Add your Zotero file (as a bib resource) to header of your main.tex file using the \addbibresource{} command. 
  12. Insert a Zotero citation as you would any other citation from a .bib file using the \cite{} command.
  13. PLEASE NOTE: If you add new citations to Zotero and want to update your Zotero-integrated .bib file in Overleaf, select the .bib file, and then click on the 'Refresh' button at the top of the page.

*Note:  This method imports your entire Zotero library including all folders. To import a single folder from your Zotero library, manually export it from Zotero as .bib and use the upload button to add to your Overleaf project.