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Citation Management Tools: Zotero Preferences

Zotero Preferences

The Zotero web site contains much information about setting preferences.  On this page are some preferences you may want to consider setting in order to automate processes and to customize Zotero for your use at Bowdoin. 

Locate and "lookup items" available at Bowdoin

A wonderful feature of Zotero is the "Locate" function.  After collecting or entering citation information, you can pull up a citation and search Bowdoin's collection of print and electronic resources for the item. 

To set up Zotero to "Locate items" or search items using "Library Lookup" at Bowdoin:
1. Click on the "Action" icon, then click "Preferences"
2. Click on "Advanced"
3. Under "Open URL" enter the following the "Resolver" box:

Saving data to network or local drive

By default Zotero data, citations, files, and screenshots, is saved to the "Firefox profile directory" a directory on the local computer or online to the Zotero server.  If you will be using Zotero on multiple computers at Bowdoin that have access to the Bowdoin network, we recommend that you save your data to your network (h:/>) or "microwave" drive.  Data saved in folders on the network drive are backed up on a regular basis.  

To change where your data is saved:
1. Click on the "Action" icon, then click "Preferences"
2. Click on "Advanced"
3. Under "Data Directory Location," in the "Custom" box enter your preferred location or "Browse" to find the location.
4. Click on "OK" to save your data location 

Citation formats or "export" preferences

Although the citation format, i.e. APA or MLA, can be easily changed at any time and the chosen style does not change the information collected by Zotero, it is recommended that you set your preferred style.

To set the citation format or "export" style"
1. Click on the "Action" icon, then click "Preferences"
2. Click on "Export"
3. Then choose your preferred "Default Output Format"
4. Click on OK to save the format

Automatically "grabbing" PDFs

Because of the file size of PDF documents and limited file space on the Zotero server, the default in Zotero is to not automatically save PDF documents attached to citations.   However, Zotero does a good job in determining when PDFs are attached to citations and if you are expect to use JSTOR and Google scholar quite a bit, you may want to change the PDF default setting.

To automatically save PDFs attached to citations:
1. Click on the "Action" icon, then click on "Preferences"
2. Click on "General"
3. Under "Miscellaneous," check the box "Automatically attach associated PDFs and other files when saving items."
4. Click on "OK" to save preference  

"Proxies" for viewing items found in subscription databases

When you save citations from one of our online databases, a URL is added to your citation.  Some of the shared databases may have a URL that does automatically recognize that you are a Bowdoin user.  In order to view the citation at later time, you must change the proxy address.

To change the Proxies:
1. Click on the "Action" icon, then click "Preferences"
2. Click on "Proxies"
3. Click on add or "+"
4. Select "Multi-Site"
5. Under the "Hostname" box click on "+" then enter:
6. In "Scheme" enter: