Zotero is bibliographic software commonly used by many scholars, “a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.” On Serai, you can create library feeds that will display citations from your Zotero collection. It will look like this:
A Zotero library feed is a useful feature on many types of Serai pages. You might like to create a reading list on a group or session page, to indicate associated materials for an announcement, or to list recommended readings on a basic page of any kind.
You can create a Zotero library feed on a Serai page by following the instructions below. You must first have a Zotero account with a populated library from which the feed will pull and display citations. The display on Serai will reflect the current content of the collection or library for which you create the feed.
- First, visit zotero.org and log in.
- Next, decide whether you want to share a bibliographic feed from:
- your own library
- a folder from your library
- a group you administer or belong to
- a folder from that group.
- Note: Zotero feeds are currently limited to 150 items. If you want to create a feed for more items, consider using collections. For example, you could divide a library of 300 items into 4 collections of 75 items each.
- Now, you will create a specific API (Application Program Interface) code, using information from your Zotero account to write a URL that will allow Serai to display a feed from your Zotero library. Follow these steps:
- If you are sharing your own library or collection, you will need your Zotero userID, and if you are sharing a group or group collection, you’ll need the Group ID (see below for instructions on sharing items from a group library).
- Once logged on at zotero.org, click ‘Settings’ at the upper right (1), then click Feeds/API, where you’ll see your userID (2):
- To share content from your own Zotero library, you’ll need to generate a private key (3. in the image above)
- Private key settings:
- After you’ve saved your key:
- All your generated keys will be listed on the Feeds/API tab of your settings page. Click the orange feed icon beside one of your keys and take note of the URL:
- eg. https://api.zotero.org/users/45040/items?key=owTzi9oQjdmhTVFLGqt6JYXB. The long key at the end is what enables a public feed of a private Zotero library. The above feed would in reality draw from a user’s entire Zotero library, so we need to add in a folder / collection to narrow it down.
- Now go back to your library, by clicking the ‘My Library’ menu tab below the Zotero site logo, where you should see a view of your library, and the URL should be https://www.zotero.org/[username]/items/
- When you click on a folder in your library, you’ll see something like https://www.zotero.org/ghpiersol/items/collectionKey/GJANTA73 for the URL - the ‘collectionKey’ portion indicates that you are inside a collection or folder, and the 8-digit code at the end of the URL is the ID of that particular collection
- What you want to do now is to use the userID and the collection key to formulate a specific new URL which will be the Zotero API query that you enter on Serai to create the bibliography feed. The formation that you want looks like this example: https://api.zotero.org/users/45040/collections/GJANTA73/items?key=owTzi9...
- If you’re accustomed to Zotero, you’ll know that items in your library can have attachments ranging from notes to screenshots to pdfs and other documents. You’ll want to remove these from your Zotero feed to prevent duplication of records. To do this add “&itemType=-attachment” to the URL eg. https://api.zotero.org/users/45040/collections/GJANTA73/items?key=owTzi9...
- if you were to follow the above URL, you’d see a confusing page full of text and XML code, so the final step is to add “&format=bib” at the end of the URL. This is the command to format the XML as a bibliography i.e. https://api.zotero.org/users/45040/collections/M7ZIDC3R/items?key=owTzi9...
Sharing a group library or group collection:
The process for sharing a group library or collection is very similar to sharing a user library/collection, the main difference being that you place ‘groups’ in place of ‘users’ in the URL
You find can the group number by going to your group page on the Zotero website and looking for the six-digit code after “groups/” in the URL.
To review: the complete formula is
https://www.zotero.org/users/ [user number here] / collections / [collections key here] / items?key= [ items key here] &itemType=-attachment&format=bib
https://www.zotero.org/groups/ [group number here] / collections / [collections key here] / items?key= [ items key here] &itemType=-attachment&format=bib