Zotero Records: Guided Examples
This is a guide on how to make well formed Zotero records. Zotero is fairly straight forward but occasionally there are complexities. This is a guide to those “more complex” situations.
Zotero is an open source application (software) which is useful when tracking resource during a research project. It especially excels when it comes time to add references and citations to documents.
Zotero is especially useful when an author works with the same references between publisher styles. In these cases, it is important to correctly input the data into Zotero’s records so that the data can be correctly displayed across publisher styles.
Citation Style Language
Citation Style Language (CSL) is the technology tool that Zotero uses to create references and citations (within a document) which comply with a style guide or publisher’s style sheet requirements.
The Zotero Record’s User Interface
Zotero’s user interface is fairly straight forward. However, some materials when referenced need some additional fields which are not directly contained within the User Interface (UI). The following image shows the main editing location within Zotero for editing a Zotero record.
Subject Materials Used
This guide usually makes examples from the literature of linguistics. However, it also use direct examples from Manuals of Style such as APA 6th (Citation: VandenBos, 2010) VandenBos, G. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th). American Psychological Association. (Citation: Skutley, 2012) Skutley, M. (2012). APA Style Guide to Electronic References (6th). American Psychological Association. , APA 7th (Citation: , 2020) (2020). Retrieved from https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references (Citation: , 2019) (2019). Publication manual of the American psychological association (7th). American Psychological Association. , and Chicago 17th (author date) (Citation: Harper, 2017) Harper, R. (2017). The Chicago manual of style (17th). The University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/cmosl7 . The complex situations in this guide are often examples of materials sourced from an archive.
There are several helpful locations for finding out more about the inner workings of Zotero. These can be helpful when considering what a Zotero field is supposed to mean or contain and how it is exported into CSL-JSON.
- Zotero’s page explaining the fields they have and their intended use.
- A mapping of Zotero fields to CSL.
- CSL documentation of Types and Variables and their intended use, as well as new item types proposed for CSL version 1.0.2.
Citation Style Building Datasets
In addition to informing authors on some functional practices related to the crafting of Zotero records, those who wish to create a style sheet which implements a specific publisher’s specification1 or for some other specific use may benefit from some of the datasets this project has created. These datasets propagate the data through the specified style so that the author of the style sheet can check for errors.
- ItemTypeTestData (Created by Hugh Paterson III)
- jurism_style_test_items (Created by Frank Bennett)
- Test items used to test APA CSL development (Created by Brenton M Wiernik)
- (2019). Publication manual of the American psychological association (7th). American Psychological Association.
- (2020). Retrieved from https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references
- Harper (2017)
- Harper, R. (2017). The Chicago manual of style (17th). The University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/cmosl7
- Skutley (2012)
- Skutley, M. (2012). APA Style Guide to Electronic References (6th). American Psychological Association.
- VandenBos (2010)
- VandenBos, G. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th). American Psychological Association.