Any Zotero experts in the house?
October 16, 2012 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Using Zotero in a pre-existing Word document: help.

I would like to use Zotero to manage references in a pre-existing Word document that I am overhauling. The endnotes (and superscript citations) are just regular text and not created with the Word endnotes function or any bibliographic software. I'm not interested in adding original sources into the Zotero library -- I just want to be able to move the citations around, add additional ones, and have the endnotes at the end follow suit. I don't see any way to add a citation without selecting it from the Zotero library. (Please don't suggest using the Word endnotes function -- it's not adequate for this.)
posted by Wordwoman to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If I understand what you want to do, then I don't think you will be able to use Zotero. Zotero inserts field codes into a word document that appear as properly formatted inline citations or end note references. As you insert/remove them from the document, the end notes can be refreshed to reflect the changes.

It seems like you want something that will scan the current references and have zotero create an entry from them so that it can be tracked and used as if you had entered it into the database in the usual way. As far as I know, there is no way to do this. If you want to use the program's functionality, you will need for the reference data to be in a format that it can play with, so you will have to add the citations to the library. I do not see any plugins that claim to do this either.
posted by cgk at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2012

cgk -- is it possible to add citations (not documents) to the library?
posted by Wordwoman at 12:58 PM on October 16, 2012

You could cut and paste the references into Papers, have it scan for the correct paper, then insert the code into the document. A lot of work, though.
posted by carolinaherrera at 1:30 PM on October 16, 2012

I use Mendeley, not Zotero. But in Mendeley you can add references by hand. That's what I did with existing papers. I preferred it because searching in Mendeley sometimes came up with less correct versions.
posted by k8t at 3:07 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes Wordwoman, most of my zotero library consists of just the citation information, without the documents. It is very good at pulling citation data from google scholar and academic databases. If you have less than a million existing citations it might be worth just scraping then into zotero from the web.
posted by cgk at 6:36 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

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