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Zotero @ Levy Library: Attaching PDFs

Attaching PDFs

Zotero allows you to attach full text PDFs to the references in your library. There are two ways to do so in Zotero:

Attached a saved PDF from your computer

You can attach a PDF stored on your computer directly to an existing reference by simply dragging it to an existing item in your Zotero library.

Alternatively, you can attach it using the paperclip icon on the Zotero toolbar.Select the reference you wish to attach a PDF to and click on the paperclip icon at the top of your Zotero window. Drop down to and select "Attach Stored Copy of File...". Find the PDF saved on your computer and select it to attach it to the reference.

Screenshot pointing out paperclip icon dropdown and "Attach stored copy of file" selection to add a PDF to a reference


Create a New Reference from a PDF

Zotero can also create a new reference from a PDF. Once you drag a PDF from your files to your Zotero library, Zotero will automatically extract its bibliographic data and create a new reference with the PDF as an attachment.

Screenshot showing how to drag a PDF from your computer to your Zotero library in order to create a new reference

Find Available PDFs

Zotero also allows you to automatically attach open access PDFs to your references.

Select the reference(s) you wish to find full text for and right click. Select "Find Available PDFs" from the dropdown. If you are on campus, Zotero will automatically search all library holdings for full text. Off campus, all open access PDFs will be added to your library.

Library Lookup

Library Lookup allows you to search for full text PDFs directly from the library catalog.

To set up Library Lookup in Zotero, go to the Preferences menu.

In the Advanced tab of your preferences, enter the following URL into the Resolver box:

Once the library's OpenURL is set up in your preferences, select the reference you wish to look up and use the Locate button to drop down to Library Lookup.

Zotero will open the reference of interest in the library catalog, where you will be able to view access options and download a PDF if available. Once you've downloaded the PDF, attach it to your Zotero reference using the workflow described at the top of this page.