Zotero Citation Management

Adding Items to Zotero

Adding Items to Zotero

There are a number of ways to add content to Zotero. This guide addresses the two most popular methods: input via the Zotero Connector and input via manual submission. 

Adding Items via the Zotero Connector

Using a Zotero Connector (extension) is the fastest way to add items to your Zotero library. The purpose of a Zotero Connector is to read the metadata on a web page and then download that information to your Zotero library.  Zotero can recognize the metadata for books, articles, newspapers, videos, and other materials you encounter online through library article databases, Google Scholar, Amazon, Google Books, library catalogs, YouTube, newspaper websites, etc. 

Once you find an item that you want to add to your Zotero library, before you click the Zotero Connector icon, make sure the Zotero desktop application is open. If it is not, you will see a message like this: 

Is Zotero Running? Message

Once your Zotero desktop application is open then you can add items directly from the Zotero Connector to your Zotero library. To do this, simply click on the Zotero Connector icon. Keep in mind that the icon image changes depending on what metadata Zotero is reading from the web page -- sometimes the icon looks like a book, a CD, a white piece of paper, a blue piece of paper, or a folder.  

Zotero white paper icon  Zotero folder icon  Zotero book icon

Zotero will then add the item and all its corresponding metadata to your Zotero Library. Once it's added, you can edit the metadata manually if you choose. 

Zotero Grabbing Item Metadata

Adding Items Manually

You can also add items manually to your Zotero library in the desktop application. Select the "Add Item" button (green circle with plus sign) and then select the corresponding template. 

Adding Items Manually Screenshot


For example, you might have a document on your desktop that you want in your Zotero library so you create a new item from the "manuscript" template. Then you can upload a copy of the full-text file to live alongside the Zotero bibliographic item. Note: You can add full-text files (e.g., .pdf, .doc) to any of the Zotero items in your library (not just those added manually) using the method shown in the screenshot below. 

Adding pdfs Manually