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Saving Books and Articles Found in Search It (Primo): Order of Preference

Options are in order of preference (subject to change as I keep testing this!) Here's a screencast (2/19/2014)

Note: If you email yourself a link to an item through Search It's email menu, you will *not* be able to add that item to your Zotero library using the URL from the emailed link. Use one of the options below instead. 


  1. Once you do a search and get your list of results, you can view the details of each book within each page's list via the Details tab. Look up in the upper right corner of your browser search box (to the left for Safari users) and you will see a yellow folder. Click on it and you'll see a list of the books on that page of your results. Select the book or books you want to add to your Zotero library. Be sure to carefully compare  the Zotero record and the Search It record for each book individually; you will probably need to do some editing of the Zotero record.
  2. If an ISBN is available, use this with the Yellow Highlighter tool (paste in the ISBN and it will resolve to your book - you will need to do some editing)
  3. If there is no ISBN or it does not work, click on the "bump-out to another tab" link, located in the upper right corner when you click on the Details tab. This will open the details information a new tab and you can then use the Zotero translator button in your browser bar to add the book to your Zotero library - you will need to do some edting.
  4. As usual and for all of these methods, if the item you want is not a monograph, you will need to change your Item Type to the proper format (i.e. thesis, hearings, or book section if you are working with an edited volume).

Journal Articles

  1. Add the article from its original source (publisher) if it is Zotero-compliant (this may also add the PDF; if not, you can get the article by clicking on View It tab, getting the PDF if available, and adding it to your Zotero library). Example: ScienceDirect, Sage, Springer, etc.
  2. Copy the Digital Object Identiifer (DOI) if available , click on the Yellow Highlighter tool, and paste it in - it will resolve to your article - you will need to do some editing. You will then need to add the article PDF the usual way(s).
  3. If there is no DOI or it does not work, click on the "bump-out to another tab" link, located in the upper right corner when you click on the Details tab. This will open the details information in a new tab and you can then use the Zotero translator button in your browser bar to add the article bibliographic data  to your Zotero library (don't worry that the  translator icon looks like a book - it will add the item to your library properly as an article) - you will need to do some edting.
  4. Alternatively you can use the Send It drop-down menu to export the article record as an RIS file. Follow the directions, and if your Zotero preferences are set up correctly, the bibliographic data should end up in your Zotero library. One issue: you will get *two* records; one is empty except for the publication (journal)  title; the other has everything but the publication title. Copy the pub title to the fuller record, then send the duplicate record to the trash.
  5. Enter the bibliographic information manually by copy and paste  (a pain if you have to do it, but you only have to do it once ;-)

Other Formats


Zotero and Primo

11/18/2013 Update: Its looking pretty good. I'll be posting instructions soonish (text and video) on how to use Zotero with Primo (or Search It, as we are calling our instance of it here at WSU).

tl; dr version:

It happened.

Longer Version with Workarounds (last updated 8/30/13)

The Primo/Zotero question is still a bit up in the air, and a bunch of people are working hard to smooth things out. It’s not just us - Primo is being moved to by a number of other academic libraries all over the country, so there is a big incentive to work this out (Zotero is not the only reference management application potentially affected by it either). I’m confident that by the time we start to use Primo, everything will be fine. As it is now, however, while there are issues, they can be worked out.

In my own experimentation, you can add a book via the ISBN (using the highlighter icon) and then review it (“check twice; cut once”) to make sure you captured everything you wanted – you’ll certainly have to add in things like the catalog name, but our own WSU WorldCat gets that wrong every time in Zotero anyway, auto-adding Open WorldCat instead of WSU WorldCat ;-) 

You can also add via the batch command (the yellow folder). You’ll have to do a bit more clean up, but that is a one-time thing. And of course, there is always the option to add it manually, using cut-and-paste.

In the case of articles, you can look for a DOI or add via the batch command and make any necessary edits, if you prefer the Primo interface to the native database interface. An increasing number of publisher sites are Zotero-compatible as well (ScienceDirect/ Elsevier, Sage, Springer, Wiley, etc.) so articles can be added directly from the publisher site via the translator icon - and about six out of ten times you'll automatically get the PDF added to your Zotero library as well!

In my view, getting something into Zotero does not take long even if you have to cut-and-paste and in the end is less significant than what you do with it once its in your library. However, if this is a dealbreaker for you or a bit too ambiguous, you may want to check out EndNote (my colleague Chelsea Leachman  teaches EndNote classes – find out more at ).

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