Seeking Support: Automation between Zotero, Zotfile, and OneDrive

I'm a first year PhD student and currently establishing my systems for referencing, note-taking, and data-analysis for a qualitative research project.

I'm seeking support to help me work through my current system/workflow:

I use Zotero for referencing, and store PDFs and ebooks on OneDrive (Source Folder). I have added the Zotfile extension to rename and move processed (renamed and linked) files into a new OneDrive folder, however this isn't occurring.

I'd like to be able to create automations so that when I upload a new reference into the OneDrive source folder it is synced to automatically upload into Zotero moved into the new folder AND syncs to notion referencing system (I've installed Notero add-on).

I'd also like to advice on how to batch-process existing files to:
- create parent files for each reference and attach link/pdf/ebook as a childfile
- update meta-data OR search document for bibliographic data (this does not occur for each existing file).

Can anyone help? I'm happy to pay for a coaching session - I've spent literal days on youtube, forums, websites etc trying to tackle this on my own.


  • edited 14 days ago
    The usual way to get Zotfile to automatically rename and move PDFs as they are added is to add them from the article's web page via the Zotero Web Connector in the standard way.

    If you already have PDFs in your Onedrive folder, you can use modifier-key* drag and drop them into Zotero, which will establish the file link to that folder. That has nothing to do with Zotfile.
    https://www.zotero.org/support/attaching_files#adding_files_via_the_zotero_window
    *"To ... add links to the original files, hold down Ctrl+Shift (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+Option (Mac) while dropping."
    Zotero will usually retrieve metadata (assuming the PDF has enough embedded information to do that) and create a parent for such files.

    If you want to manually rename and move an existing PDF attachment, use right-click manage Attachments\Rename & Move (a Zotfile function).

    There is no 'watch' folder in Zotero. So you can't automate the addition of new files added directly to your Onedrive folder from outside Zotero.
    https://www.zotero.org/support/kb/watch_folder

    The nearest thing is Zotfile's Source Folder for Attaching New Files. This is useful where you have an item in Zotero to which you wish to add a PDF (eg received by email, or could not be downloaded via the web connector so had to be saved manually). You save the PDF to that folder and then right-click Attach New File, which will offer to add the latest-dated PDF in that folder to your item.
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