There are tons of ways to get, books, articles, web pages, and any other kind of item into Zotero. So many, in fact, that we thought we needed this to make this short screencast. You might just be surprised at how many ways there are to get information into Zotero. This screencast covers six ways to get things into Zotero.
1. Location Bar Icons: When you visit library websites, journal databases, and many other Zotero enabled sites you can click the icons that appear in the location bar to grab citation information.
2. Create New Item from Current Page button: Clicking the Create New Item from Current Page button in the Zotero toolbar creates an item and saves the page as an attached snapshot.
3. Retrieve Metadata for PDFs: Zotero can also attempt to identify PDFs you have saved to your computer. Just drag them into the middle pane and right click on them and select “Retrieve Metadata for PDF”. If Zotero can find the PDF in Google Scholar, it creates a new library item for the paper, downloads the citation information and attaches the original PDF to the new item.
4. Look up Items by Unique Identifier: If have a DOI, ISBN, or PubMed ID Zotero can look up it's citation information.
5. Manually Adding Items: Items can be added manually by clicking the New Item button in the Zotero toolbar, then selecting the appropriate item type. Metadata can then be added by hand in the right column.
6. Importing Records from Other Tools: Many users come to Zotero with extensive collections stored in other reference management software. To import entire collections into Zotero, click on the gear icon and select “Import.” Browse to your file, select it, and click open.
Zotero's automatic captures make it easy to work with web resources, but not everything you need to use in your research is online. Zotero makes it easy to manually add items as well.
Click on the green plus icon in the center column. Select the type of item you want to create from the drop down menu. You can view more item types at the bottom of the menu. If the options do not fit your item exactly try to find the kind of item that would contain the same fields. Once you select an item type an blank item of that type will appear in your center column. You can then manually enter the bibliographic information into the right column.
Click on any of the fields in the right column to begin entering your information. If you have additional authors you can click on the + next to the first author to add additional fields. When you have finished entering the metadata you can drag in attachments.
Zotero's sorting functions make it easy to quickly find items in your library and collections.
To sort items in a collection, click on any of the information categories at the top of the middle column. For example, if you click on “Title,” all your items will be sorted alphabetically by title. If you click on “Title” again, the order will be reversed. Similarly, if you click on “Creator,” your items will be sorted alphabetically by creator, and if you click “Creator,” again the order will be reversed.
To sort by other categories, you can click on the icon in the top right corner of your center column. You will then see the dropdown menu illustrated to the right. Check off any additional categories you would like to use for sorting. They will now appear in the center column and you can click on them to sort in just the same way you did with “Title” and “Creator”.