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Zotero: Adding References

How to Use Zotero Video Tutorial

Manually adding a reference

Manually adding a reference

If you are reading a book or article, you can add the reference for it manually into Zotero by following these instructions:

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Sign into your account
  • Click the green + symbol on the top menu
  • Choose what type of reference you are creating e.g. a book
  • Fill in the information on the right-hand panel, using your APA referencing handbook for guidance
  • You do not need to fill in every field, the referencing handbook will tell you which fields are necessary for each reference type
  • For instance, a book needs four basic pieces of information
    • The name of the author
    • The date the book was published
    • The title of the book
    • The name of the publisher
      • You can find this information on the title page of the book
  • When filling in the author’s name, remember to fill in their last name first and their first name second – this is because in APA referencing, we list references alphabetically by surname.
  • You can fill in more information about the book if it is relevant, such as which edition it is, the URL if it is an e-book, the language it is in or the library shelfmark.

Downloading a reference from the library website

Downloading a reference from the library website

When browsing the library catalogue on the MIE Library website, you can use a tool to export references automatically into your Zotero library by following these steps:

  • Input your search into the search box on the library website https://www.mie.ie/en/library/
  • On the results page, click the yellow box under your chosen item that says “Export Zotero/Mendeley”
  • Open Zotero, which should display the newly added reference
  • Check and proof-read the information that is created on the right-hand panel
    • Is the item type correct?
    • Is the title correct?
    • Are all the authors listed?
    • Is the publisher correct?
    • Is the date of publication correct?

Adding an article using a DOI

Adding an article using a DOI

Many online articles have a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), this is a unique alphanumeric code that is used to permanently identify an article or document to a source online. You can think of it like a PPS Number for an article – it only ever refers to that one article like your PPS Number only ever refers to you.

You can add references to articles to Zotero by using the DOI, which then pulls in the relevant information about titles and authors from online. You can add these references by following these steps:

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Sign into your account
  • Click the magic wand symbol on the top menu
  • Type or paste the DOI into the box
  • Check and proof-read the information that is created on the right-hand panel
    • Is the item type correct?
    • Is the title correct?
    • Are all the authors listed?
    • Is the journal title correct?
    • Are the volume, issue number and page numbers correct?

Adding items using a browser plugin

Adding items using a browser plugin

Zotero offers an internet browser plugin / add-on for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. You can add the extension to your browser directly from the Zotero website https://www.zotero.org/download/

You can add references to your library automatically from the MIE library catalogue, websites, news sites, Google Scholar and viewing PDFs. However, it is important to remember that the quality of the data Zotero imports is determined by the information supplied on the webpage. Some websites provide very high-quality data using a standard way to provide Zotero with data (via embedded metadata). Other websites provide only limited metadata (e.g., only the title of a blog post) or no metadata at all.

When you want to add a reference for the webpage you have open, click the Zotero icon in the top menu of your browser. Zotero will generate this information automatically and add it to your library. Make sure to check that the information generated is correct. You can edit the information in Zotero on the right-hand panel.

Adding a book using an ISBN

Adding a book using an ISBN

Most published books have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). These work in a similar way to DOIs, although it is a much older system. Some books have a 10-digit ISBN and a 13-digit ISBN, you will be able to use either one to add your reference. You can add book references to Zotero using an ISBN using the same method as adding using a DOI.

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Sign into your account
  • Click the magic wand symbol on the top menu
  • Type or paste the ISBN into the box
  • Check and proof-read the information that is created on the right-hand panel
    • Is the item type correct?
    • Is the title correct?
    • Are all the authors listed?
    • Is the publisher correct?
    • Is the date of publication correct?

Proofreading and editing your references

Proofreading and editing your references

It is very important to proofread your references when adding them into Zotero, no matter which method you use to add them. Zotero cannot create a correct reference from incorrect or incomplete information. You can save yourself time by checking your references as you add them, when you are most likely looking at the book or article that you are referencing. Use the APA Handbook as a guide to understand what information is required and what format it should be in.

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