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Zotero: Add Items to Zotero

An introduction and basic overview of Zotero—how to get it, how to use it.

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Multiple Ways to Add Resources

Resources may be added to Zotero in a number of ways. Four will be discussed here:

  • clicking the icon displayed in the browser address bar.
  • manually adding an item.
  • adding an item by identifier number.
  • creating a page snapshot.

A brief mention will also be given to adding .pdf files or other items.

Browser Address Bar Icon

Many times Zotero will detect metadata from the webpage you're viewing and display an icon in the browser address bar. The icon will vary based upon the information source, but may appear as a book, page (for articles), webcam (for videos), etc.

When an icon appears, adding that resource information can be as simple as clicking the icon. A small box will appear at the bottom of the screen as a notification that an item is being added to Zotero. 


Finish the process by reviewing for accuracy and completeness the information Zotero retreived.

Add an Item Manually

You may also add a resource manually by clicking the 'new item' button and choosing the resource type from the dropdown menu. This may be done if the address bar icon does not appear or if you need to add items like specific book chapters from an edited collection. Resource information must be manually filled in the Zotero info pane.

Add an Item by Identifier

If you know an item's DOI, PMID, or ISBN number, you may click the 'add item(s) by identifier' button. Type (or scan) the number into the box and Zotero will search for and retrieve available item information. Again, review the info box for accuracy and completeness.

Create a Page Snapshot

Zotero also allows you to take a snapshot of a web page by selecting the 'create web page item' button (Firefox). If you're using the standalone version of Zotero, right click the page and select 'save Zotero snapshot' from the menu list to implement the same function. Zotero will create an item entry and create a snapshot of the page which it attaches to the entry. The snapshot will display in a browser window when viewed later. You will need to create all of the item info manually for these additions.

PDFs and Attachments

Adding a PDF or another attchement is easy. Be sure the option to automatically attach PDFs is selected in the Preferences pane. Zotero will then automatically download and attach PDFs of journal articles (when available) as you are adding items from many of our library databases. Simply click the icon in the browser address bar and Zotero will do the rest! 

If you have a book review or an image you would like to attach to an item, you can attach them as well. Zotero allows you to attach files of many different formats to any item by dragging the file into Zotero and dropping it onto an item.

Attachments of any kind will be indicated by a small triangle left of the item title. Clicking the triangle will reveal the attached item.