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Math 343

Group libraries

To create a group:

  1. Click on the brown box icon in the upper lefthand corner of the Zotero interface
  2. Select New Group ...
  3. This will open a browser and the website where you will need to login to you Reed zotero account
  4. Name the group and choose membership type.
  5. Even if you have chosen Public, open membership, you will need to invite your group members to the library as there is a long lag time before the group will be discoverable. Select Member Settings to enter email addresses of collaborators.
  6. Refresh desktop Zotero to sync with the server and your Group Libraries should appear on the left side of the window under your personal "My Library."

Members of a group can copy records from a group folder and add them to their personal Zotero library. For more information on sharing libraries, check the Zotero Support page for Groups.

Organizing your thoughts and finding them later

  • Tag articles to help quickly sort them later ("articles I still need to read", "articles about crow roosts"). Some databases import tags for you that capture article keywords
  • Add Notes to articles to help organize your thoughts, highlight salient bits. In group situations, you can use this to communicate with your group members
  • Zotero has a powerful search function. Selecting the magnifying glass allows you to choose where you would like zotero to look for your term (title, tags, notes, etc). If you choose Everything Zotero will also search within the PDFs, as long as it was able to extract and index the full text.
  • In the Tag box in the lower left corner, if you click on a tag, it will limit your library view to articles sharing that tag


The Zotero plugin ZotFile helps you move your PDF highlights to notes in Zotero. The results can be a little messy, but depending on your learning style it might be a helpful way to gather your thoughts in one place, with the article citation. The resulting note file that is generated hyperlinks back to the text so you can easily get back to the original context.

There are a few steps to install this plugin, it is fairly well documented on the Zotfile website. Once installed:

  1. Open the PDF for an article you have in your Zotero library in Preview
  2. While reading, use the highlighting tool to highlight pieces of text that are useful for you
  3. When you are done highlighting, close the pdf and return to the zotero library
  4. Locate the citation, right click and select Manage Attachments, Extract annotations

This will generate a note with all of the highlighted text in it. This only works with PDFs that can be rendered as text, versus the older style of PDFs that are simply a picture of text. A good rule of thumb is if you can select, copy and paste text out of the PDF then Zotfile should be able to derive the text from your hightlights.

More on Zotero from Reed Libraries