Adding search engines


is it possible to add search engines without modifying zotero/locate/engines.json ? I.e. can they be self-contained (like translators)?

  • you mean lookup engines?
    Only to the extent that they support the open lookup protocol (not quite sure about the name), which is extremely rare - pubget used to work. Most libraries, though have lookup services you can use, so if that's what you're after...
  • Sorry, yes, I meant lookup engines.

    E.g. I use a "Google Scholar - title only", and "Google search for title", which (obviously) searches google scholar just by title, or google just by title. I've found that quite useful.

    It would be good if I could give those two lookup engines to colleagues as a self-contained file, rather than modifying engines.json (which is what I've done to get those searches).
  • Can you tell me how you got this to work? I'm also looking for a 'google search' title functionality, as my database has lots of grey literature. I'm only middling in IT functionality, so if it's too hard I'll just echo the request for a self-contained file!
  • edited February 15, 2015
    Close Firefox/Zotero Standalone. Find <Zotero data directory>/locate/engines.json. Open it in a text editor. Insert the following immediately after the opening bracket [

    "name": "Google Search",
    "alias": "Google",
    "_urlTemplate": "{z:title}",
    "description": "Google Search",
    "hidden": false,
    "_urlParams": [],
    "_urlNamespaces": {
    "z": "";
    "_iconSourceURI": "";

    Restart Zotero
  • edited February 15, 2015
    @aurimas - we should consider making a small collection of these in xml form so that people can add them with one click. I did one for pubmed (by title and journal), I'm sure there are some other ones people would like.
    Ideally they'd be on, but otherwise I'm happy to host them on a github site.
  • It would be great if these didn't have to be added to "engines.json", but e.g. if there was a directory

    <Zotero data directory>/locate/engines/

    where additional engines could be placed?
  • I don't think we really want regular users to meddle with the data folder, either. There is a simple, GUI-based way of adding these, via XML
    If you want to offer them to other people, use that.
  • Hi Adam,

    How would you do that with Zotero stand alone?

    Also, is there a way to add a search from a file (that I could email to somebody), rather than having to put the XML online?

  • yeah, standalone wouldn't work, so that's not ideal.
    Nor would e-mail, but putting a file online these days really shouldn't be an obstacle for anyone comfortable enough to manually alter JSON files.

    If someone is going to put in the work to change the current behavior, it should be a proper solution and not making what's essentially a workaround (i.e. manually adding/changing json files to the data directory) a little easier.

    FWIW, you could send around a complete & altered file that people could use to overwrite their existing one.
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