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POLS 002: American Politics (SC): Automatically Adding Citations

Political Science 002 (Nackenoff) Fall 2012

Automatically Adding Citations and Files

Add Citations and Files Automatically:

On any particular web page, an item icon (e.g., the book icon  from an online catalog record) will usually appear in the URL address bar.  Click on the appropriate icon to save a record and any associated files to your Zotero account:

(N.B., if you are using Safari, you will see similar, but gray icons appear to the left of the address bar.  For example, here is the icon to add a book to Zotero from a Safari window:

From a list of search results (e.g., in Amazon or a library catalogue), one can click on the folder icon to add any number of items from the list to Zotero automatically:




From an item record in a database (e.g., JSTOR), click on the item icon in the address bar.  For PDFs and other files, the file will automatically be associated with the citation so long as you have set your preferences to do so (as explained on the "Setting Your Preferences" page).


Expanding the saved item record will reveal any saved files:


Video Tutorial

Please click here if the video does not appear automatically.

Other Ways to Add Citations Automatically

If No Item Icon Appears in the Address Bar:

Some items, especially some websites, will not generate the item icon that allows you to add a record automatically.  In these cases, you can add a citation using one of the following methods:

1.  From a web page on which the resource icon does not appear in the address bar, select the page icon with a green "plus" sign  from your Zotero window.  This will create a record with basic information about the page, along with a screen shot.  You can then add additional information within the right-hand pane of your Zotero window.


2.  You can also add items by choosing the wand icon with the green "plus" sign  and entering a standard number (ISBN, DOI, or PMID):


3.  Yet another way to add items is to drag a file (e.g., PDF) into your library and have Zotero retrieve information about that file.  This method is especially useful for unnamed PDFs that you might have stored on your hard drive.  To add items this way, simply drag the file into your Zotero library, right click on the file, and select "Retrieve Metadata for PDF":


• See the Manually Adding Citations page if none of the above options is available.