Answered By: Caltech Research Librarians
Last Updated: Sep 14, 2017     Views: 28

If you have added PDFs that were stored locally on your computer to your Zotero library, you may want to retrieve the metadata for these PDFs. Retrieving the metadata will create a citation for the PDF and make the item easier to cite.

First, select the PDFs for which you wish to retrieve metadata. Right click on them and select 'Retrieve Metadata for PDFs.'

If Zotero was able to find a match on Google Scholar, you should be all set.

If Zotero can't find a match on Google Scholar, save the citation information from another catalog or database and then drag the PDF onto the citation to make it an attachment.

If you want to automatically import citation information for the PDFs you add to your collection (known as 'PDF indexing'), perform the following steps:

  1. Enable PDF indexing by going to Edit > Preferences > Search.
  2. If the PDF indexer plugin is NOT installed, click on 'Check for Installer' to install the plugin. (If the PDF indexer IS installed, click on 'Check for Update' to verify that the indexer is up-to-date.)
  3. Once the plugin is installed or up-to-date, drag your PDF files into Zotero.
  4. Right-click on the PDFs in Zotero and choose 'Retrieve Metadata for PDFs' (see images above).
  5. Zotero should retrieve metadata and create a citation for the PDF (see note above if Zotero can't find a match).

NOTE: Metadata is only as good as the information in Google Scholar. Please carefully review your citations for accuracy.