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Zotero Complete Guide

The MGH IHP's complete guide to using and getting the most out of Zotero

Editing Items

Editing Items

Zotero logo. The Z is in burgundy, the remaining letters are in black.

This page describes the ways you can edit items already saved in your Zotero Library. 

By selecting an item in the center pane, you will then be able to view and edit all of its bibliographic information in the right pane, in the Info Tab as shown below: 

Click on the "Info" tab

Editing Creator Names

To change a creator (such as an author or editor), click the Creator Field label and select the desired creator type.  

 Creator Field label

 

You can add and delete creators by clicking on the plus (+) or minus (-) button at the end of each field, shown here: 

Add/Delete Creator Fields

 

Creators can be re-ordered by clicking the Creator Field Label and selecting "Move Up" or "Move Down." See here: 

Reorder Creator Display

Editing Journal Abbreviations

Journal Articles are sometimes cited with the abbreviated journal title. Zotero stores both titles in two separate fields:

  • the full title ("Publication")
  • and the abbreviated title ("Journal Abbr")

You can edit these fields by selecting an item in the center pane, and editing the information in the right pane, shown here: 

Full and Abbreviated Journal Names

Please Note: Some citation styles require different abbreviations, usually based on whether or not the abbreviation includes periods (e.g., "PLoS Biol" vs. "PLoS Biol."). Zotero recommends storing abbreviated journal titles with periods, so that Zotero can remove the periods when using a specified citation style in an exported bibliography. 

Editing Titles

In English, titles are typically formatted in "Title Case" or "Sentence case". 

In "Title Case" formatting, major words are capitalized, while minor words are lowercase.  

(e.g., Effects of Treatment on Population) 

Click here to visit the APA website which further explains title case formatting. 

In "Sentence case" formatting, only the first word is capitalized, along with proper nouns. If there is a colon, the first word after the colon is capitalized. 

(e.g., Effects of treatment on population) 

Click here to visit the APA website which further explains sentence case formatting. 

Different citation styles require different casing requirements, but Zotero recommends storing titles in your Zotero library in "Sentence case," as this is generally more accurate than the other style, and Zotero can easily and more reliable convert titles when the bibliographic citation style requires it. 

Editing the Extra Field

The Extra field is used to store custom item metadata or data that doesn't have a dedicated field in Zotero. 

Extra Field Zotero

Always Remember to Verify and Edit Your Records in Zotero!

As explained on their website, Zotero will import metadata from a webpages, bibliographic databases, library catalogs and publisher sites as accurately as possible, but the information may not always been fully correct or complete.  

When using this software, you should understand the possibility of these issues and always verify the records in your library.  Verify that your records have the correct information and formatting so that you can create accurate in-text and biblographic citations.