Newbie Question: Scrivener & Zotero

Sorry for the noob question, I searched the forum and came up empty.

Haven’t purchased Scrivener yet, but looks great so far. I’ve been using Zotero to collect sources and citations. Does anyone know if I can use Zotero citations in Scrivener manuscripts?

I’m sorry I can’t help you with your question - but I’m sure someone here can.

I’m just replying to bump your question up the list - it was most likely lost in the welter of post update messages.



Hi and welcome to the forum.

The important thing to remember is that Scrivener is an outlining and drafting tool, not a word processor. Citations are a late stage of work, perhaps best handled in a WP application.

The Zotero home page has a section on “Word processor integration” … ntegration
It explains using Zotero with Word, OpenOffice, and “other tools”

With the first two, you install plug-ins or extensions in the WP applications.
In Zotero, you copy the data entry and paste it, as a shorthand code, in the WP file.
Later, the WP app “scans” the file and enters the full notes or bibliography.

In the “other tools” you copy/paste the full data entry.
In Scrivener, you could enter these as footnotes or annotations.
Later in your WP app, you might have to edit these some.

My own preference would be to outline/draft in Scrivener, export to a WP app, and then insert all the Zotero codes there. I’m not sure what you gain by having them in the early draft. You could, of course, place little reminders about what you’re citing, like [Johnson 2003, 16]. That would make them easier to find later on, when you’re working in the WP.

Thanks very much. Wasn’t sure where the Zotero citations went in the workflow.

The place for citations in the workflow is a very personal thing, and the final length of the written piece will have a big impact on this:
~ 30 - 80 thousand words (e.g. a thesis): the idea of waiting until it’s compiled and exported to my word processor before inserting the references, freezes me with horror :open_mouth: this sounds like a tedious and soul destrying job IMHO, and would take a long time (I should add here that everything takes me a long time :frowning: so YMMV).
~ 2 to 7 thousand words (e.g. an essay or short dissertation): inserting the references after compilation would only take a short while, and inserting them during writing may interupt your flow, so you have more flexibility with your workflow here.

I should add that my personal experience of Zotero is limited to having a quick look, but it sounds from Druid’s advice that you could insert some sort of ‘temporary citation’ or marker in the text you generate in Scriv, and then format these correctly from within your word processor, using the Zotero plugin, after compilation. If this is the case, have a play around with regard to where in the workflow you decide to put the task of referencing, and see what feels right for you and the particular piece of writing.

Best of luck,

Sarah is absolutely correct about a MS as long as a dissertation.
And perhaps even a rather dense article of several thousand words.
The original question did not specify the length of works.
It’s always good policy to make citations full & clear as you write.
I learned this a while back from brother timotheus.

Either that reference went completely over my head (not exactly a challenging target), or you really do have a brother called Timotheus. If my first guess is nearer the mark, would you be so kind Druid, as to save me an hour or two of browsing google links and briefly explain the reference for this numpty? Bear in mind I have a knowledge of history, literature, (all arts actually) comparable with the average 9-year old. Um… having just admitted to that, will I now be tarred, feathered and drummed out of Scrivener village?



timotheus is a member of this forum.
we had an exchange a while back about footnotes.
i held out for brief, non-discursive, purely citational.
he held for long, discursive, argumentative notes,
–what my adviser once called warbling his native footnotes wild.
(that IS a parodic allusion, from Midsummer Night’s Dream)
i concluded that different note styles suit different writers and situations
you are most welcome to this forum and don’t worry,
no one here ever lets ignorance get in the way of their opinions.


I think the solution depends entirely on, as has been mentioned, the length of the piece, as well as the citation style employed. Styles like Chicago Author-Date and MLA, which use parenthetical citations and a list of works cited or references at the end to provide complete publication information, are less tedious to do without the automation that, say, the Zotero-Word plugin provides for footnote styles (where keeping track of first mentions, later mentions, and Ibid. is a little trickier, especially in a longer document that has been shuffled about and edited…a key feature of Scrivener!).

An easy solution–should your work call for parenthetical citation–is just to cite parenthetically in the Scrivener document (Derrida 24), and maintain a folder in Zotero , with say, the article’s title, where you keep track of what you’ve cited (drag and drop…). When you export from Scrivener to Doc or RTF, you simply do a similar export from Zotero (“Create Bibliography from collection.” And then, of course, you compare the results to make sure it worked OK…

My sense is now that a plugin is writable. I know nothing about such things. But the new Word 2008 plugin, supposedly, could be easily rewritten to work with Scrivener and other Mac wps… inshallah.

Zotero now does RTF scans. While the feature is still under development, it works fairly well. … k/#Item_20