Creating & Editing a Bibliography ONLY

I just started using Zotero, suggested by my librarian, for a book project I am working on. However, what I really need to do in this particular project is simply to create an ongoing bibliography. I had started one in WORD and had hoped I could simply add references to it. That doesn't seem to be possible at all. And it seems that I can only create a new bibliography from Zotero into WORD by inserting citations first. I would be willing to tranfer the references I have in WORD into Zotero and start fresh there on a new bibliography, but that doesn't help me if all I want to do is create the bibliography. Sigh...if I have missed something, please advise.

Secondly, it would be really nice if somehow the software could grab the book information for a citation/reference from, say, an Amazon page; so that you don't have to type it all in.
  • 1. You can create a bibliography from Zotero - without using the word plugin - by selecting the items in Zotero, right-click "Create Bibliography from Selected Items".
    If, for whatever reason, you really want to use the word plugin, create one random citation anywhere, insert bibliography at the end, use "Edit Bibliography" in the plugin to add citations to the bibliography - you can delete the citation now and the bibliography will remain (minus that item).

    2. See here: if I understand you correctly. Obviously, in general Zotero can just get the bibliographic information for a book from Amazon, Wordcat, or most library catalogues in the world.
  • Great thanks for these tips, Adam. This all helps so much. It isn't quite as seamless as I would magically like it to be, but very doable.
  • Well, it's always going to take a little frontend work to get the backend benefits of a database. But as adam says, grabbing data from amazon, etc. is super easy with zotero.
  • edited January 13, 2012
    Hi, I'm new to Zotero, and research, so I'm thoroughly confused. I've recently imported a list journal articles (all in PDF format) into Zotero. My adviser asked me to create an annotated bibliography of the articles with quotations and a summary of each article after its entry in the bibliography. I see from other discussions that as long as I type the notes and quotes into the text box under the description of each item (right hand column of Zotero when item is selected from list in middle column)this is possible. I read through most of the posts about how to do that and, still confused, decided I should start simple and figure out how to create a simple bibliography. Unfortunately I can't do that either. I selected the list of articles I wanted in my bibliography and right-clicked, in the drop down menu I selected "Create Bibliography from selected items...", this resulted in an error script stating:

    "The items you have selected contain no references. Please select one or more references and try again."

    I really don't know what to do and would greatly appreciate help.
  • pdfs have no data that can be cited.
    They need to be attached to a Zotero item with the data.
    You can try right-clicking on some of them and select "retrieve metadata from PDF". Likely this won't work for all and you'll have to manually do it for some of them.

    Usually it's better to get items from databases - EBSCO, JSTOR, Sciencedirect etc. - than to import pdfs.
  • Thanks a lot. I reloaded everything from the web pages and the bibliography came out great. Still not sure where I'm supposed to edit the source code to do the annotated bib. but this is a huge step forward. I greatly appreciate it.
  • I've clarified the instructions for modifying styles for annotated bibliographies here (see the last post):
  • edited March 16, 2017
    Old thread, but someone might find this useful...

    If you are using the word plug-in to enter/maintain/edit citations in a document, but you only want a Bibliography to appear (i.e. no in-text citations), then one work around is to simply enter all your citations somewhere in your document (e.g. perhaps actually after the bibliography), generate your bibliography and them make the text for the citations white so it effectively disappears.

    This way, you still have an editable/dynamic Bibliography if it needs updating later, and it's all contained in Word, rather than needing to maintain a separate library in Zotero, updating that and then using the "Create Bibliography from Items... " and doing a copy-paste job every time you want to update the Word document.

    As a safety step, if you want to still be able to see the "whited-out" text so you know where it is in the document then go to File -> Options -> Advanced ... under the 'Show document content' heading find 'Field Shading' and select 'Always' in the drop-down box, then click 'OK' (steps are for Word 2010, but I would guess this would be similar for more recent versions).

    Your 'hidden' citations will now be white-on-grey (and all your Bibliography will also have a grey background). But the grey field-shading will not show up when you print the document to paper or to a .pdf file.

  • "make the text for the citations white"

    Old school genius. Thanks.

    Of course, two figures come up, say "[1]" and another "[1] Reference", but both [1]'s can be colored separately.
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