DT and Zotero

Does anyone here use DT and Zotero together? If so, I’d be curious to know how you have organised your work flow.

Yes. :slight_smile:

I don’t understand the point of your post sjk.

This is clearly an important issue which deserves a separate topic and I don’t think the topics which appear in the search results provide sufficient content to end the discussion with a “Maybe you should first try searching buddy” type of a post.

I am going to write something on how I manage Zotero and DT together later tonight.

The intention of the search result link was simply to answer your question (which I explicitly quoted), not to end possible further discussion of the topic. That’s all. :slight_smile:

That would be totally cool, thanks! Zotero and DT look like they would make a powerful combination.

Have been using Zotero for the last couple of months with DT. Zotero is great and fast in scraping bibliographical metadata from websites and has citation plug-ins for Open/NeoOffice. While I’m still awaiting the news about the progress of DEVONcite, DEVON’s definitive answer to all needs bibligraphical and citation managment, I have found Zotero useful for anything to start with biblo-entry and a pdf, sometimes accompanied with a webshot, sometimes with a short note tagged on. (Also, the renaming of downloaded pdfs from the meta-data in Zotero I find particularly sweet.)

Anything bigger goes into DT (particularly note-taking in DT is in another league). I have several databases in DT: differing fields in my life that have little overlap are kept separate; one database contains predominantely my snippets, writing, notes, excerpts, quotes etc. While another bulky one contains larger texts, mostly indexed pdfs and substantial html or doc files I keep on my HD. DT also indexes my Zotero-storage folder. (I use a smart-folder in the Finder to filter all pdfs in Zotero – which gives me ‘outside’-access to the data in Zotero without having to navigate its arbitrarily named subfolders – but have found no way to index that smart folder directly from DT – which would be the ideal.)

Sometimes I link Devon-items to the Zotero item by pasting a DT-link into the Zotero Note. It’s not pretty, since Zotero doesn’t (yet) support the DT-link’s title, but it works well enough and takes me back from Zot to DT. (This can also be worked the other way from DT to Zot, via the “Show File” option in Zotero and dragging the link into a DT – entry but I rarely use this.)

My set-up is far from perfect but in practice it’s quite workable; it gets even neater when using Spaces or a second monitor: one window for DT and another for a Zotero in fullscreen view. – Curious how others handle the goodness of both Zotero and DT.

When Zotero 2.0 came out with its web interface, I thought this would be an interesting avenue to integrate the two. You could simply have your cloud library as web link in each database. I posted once on the Zotero forum that it would be cool if the web interface could display formatted citations which could then be copy/pasted from browsers other than Firefox. One of the developers mentioned that formated citations were in the works for a future release.

I’m not really a very big fan of Firefox. I appreciate its extensibility and the like, but outside of Zotero I never use it. I understand why Zotero operates the way it does, and I really do love the power it has in scraping bibliographic material from the net. In that way, it is fantastic-- much better than Bookends or Sente for that matter. I also really like the ability to publish/share bibliographies online through groups, etc. That feature is very useful for graduate seminars I teach.

So, what my plan was/is to do the scraping in Firefox, building my reference database that way, but continue to do all the heavy lifting of my research in DT. As it stands, I now keep Firefox open in one of my spaces, and hot-key back, select a reference, export the formated citation to the clipboard, go back to DT and paste the citation. Would be very cool if one could cut out the exteriority by accessing the web-interface in a DT window, click on a citation, copy and paste that way.

All that said, the people at CHNM do fantastic work, open-source work, and feel justifiably resistant to integration with closed applications (with the exception of the ubiquitous Word). Omeka, another of their projects, is a very cool platform for collection-oriented web publishing.

These are very helpful posts. I will experiment with it and post back here what I find. It seems Zotero and DT could be used together in a very complimentary fashion.

kithairon , this is what I’m wondering now. I’d love to use DTPO to take notes on my PDFs, but I love zotero and don’t want to mess with its organizing system.

How, exactly, are you doing this (using your zotero PDFs in DT)? I love the smart folder idea, but can’t figure out how to get that into DTPO either. But, you said you did get DTPO to index your zotero folder. How does that work? How are you organizing your zotero references in DT? Curious minds are dying to know! Thank you!


I use DT’s index function on Zotero’s storage folder (by default in the Firefox profile or wherever you may have set it from within Zotero). This gives me access to whatever is stored in Zotero from within DT. Have also set FF to open PDFs in Skim; thus by consequence, Zotero opens PDFs in Skim – which is great for annotations. These graciously show up in DT’s indexed version of the PDF and so are useable from within DT. (The small disappointment in this is, that DT currently doesn’t treat the text of your pdf notes from Skim as searchable – nor the text of its own pdf-annotations from within DT for that matter – I haven’t given up hope for this yet…). It seems useful to set a Smart Folder in Finder to list all your PDFs in Zotero and you can likewise create an equivalent smartfolder within DT to list all your indexed PDFs in DT neatly. Now and then you’ll need to synchronize the Zotero storage with DT’s sync function to keep its index updated. :slight_smile:

Hello everyone, I am going to give another shot at creating a script to connect DT and Zotero. Read more here and I welcome feedback before I dive into it: DEVONthink and Zotero - A New Attempt