A guide to getting started with Zotero.

Attaching/Importing PDFs from your computer

When you don't have records in Zotero for the articles/resources:

  1. Open the Zotero software.

  2. Locate the PDF(s) on your computer using a File or Finder window.

  3. Drag the PDF file(s) from your computer files into the middle pane of the Zotero window.
    (Zotero will then process the PDF(s) and pull as much citation information it can to create a Zotero record(s). You may have to clean up the record(s) or add information to the record to be able to create correct citations from the record.)

When you already have records in Zotero for the articles/resources:

  1. Right click the item in the middle pane of your Zotero window.

  2. In the pop-up menu that appears, hover over or click "Add Attachment."

  3. Click on "Attach Stored Copy of File..."

  4. Locate the PDF on your computer using the File or Finder window.

  5. Select the PDF you want to attach and click "Open."

Finding open access PDFs

  1. Select/highlight the items for which you need PDFs in your Zotero library by clicking on them in the middle pane. (Use Control-click, or Command-click on a Mac, to select multiple items).

  2. Right click the selected/highlighted items.

  3. In the pop-up menu that appears, click on "Find Available PDF(s)."

Using Library Lookup to get PDFs

Set up the Libraries' link resolver:

  1. In the Zotero menu, go to Edit > Preferences (on Mac, go to Zotero > Preferences)

  2. In the Preferences window that appears, go to Advanced in the toolbar.

  3. Near the bottom of the Advanced window, you'll see Resolver: next to a textbox. Enter this URL into the textbox: 

  4. Once you've entered the URL, exit the window. Zotero will save your changes automatically.

Locate a PDF with Library Lookup:

  1. Click on an item in the middle pane of your Zotero library to select it.

  2. Click on the arrow button or "Locate" button in the top right of your Zotero window (next to the search box).

  3. Click on Library Lookup from the drop-down menu that appears.

  4. This will lead you to Primo (the CSU Libraries system). From here, you can do one of the following:

    • Click on "Download PDF" and import it into Zotero

    • Go to the publisher's website and, from the webpage for the article, use your browser connector to import the PDF

    • Request the PDF via Interlibrary Loan by clicking on "CSU-Fort Collins Interlibrary Loan"

Your Librarian

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Renae Watson
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E: renae.watson@colostate.edu
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