Calibre "Zotero Metadata Importer" Plug-in

edited August 5, 2017
Calibre, the open-source and cross-platform ebook manager, has a new 3d party Plug-in, "Zotero Metadata Importer", that will import Zotero file attachments into Calibre as "books", along with their Zotero metadata. A "book" is defined as whatever Calibre would consider to be an ebook (.pdf, .epub, .mobi, etc. etc.).

ZMI uses standard Zotero CSV export files created for any number of collections to do everything it needs to do.

The most recent release of ZMI also has the ability to export Calibre Metadata to an RIS file for import into Zotero.

The thread for ZMI can be found at:

ZMI is being actively developed based on Zotero user feedback. It is written in Calibre's technology framework, which currently is Python 2.13+, Qt5.9 and APSW (Another Python SQLite Wrapper). No JavaScript.

The main user support forum thread for Calibre is:

Calibre can be downloaded from:
  • Does this work the other way round, i.e. from Calibre to Zotero?
    I currently have work books in a Calibre Library, but would like to import them with attached pdf's plus metadata into Zotero
  • ZMI is Zotero to Calibre. It is a Calibre plug-in, not a Zotero plug-in. Currently, there are ~500 Calibre users who have installed ZMI.

    Note that to import Zotero metadata and .pdf files into Calibre, ZMI must be used to add the books, not the Calibre "Add Books" button. That means your existing books in Calibre can only be updated with Zotero metadata if you go the ZMI "manual" route, which can be tedious if you have a lot of books already in Calibre.

    If you have a lot of Zotero books already in Calibre, it would be much easier and faster to just start from scratch with a new Calibre "Zotero" Library that is empty, and use ZMI to import all of your Zotero .pdf files all at once and update Calibre automatically.

    The single "Original Post" for ZMI plus its attached images are a "must read" before doing anything with ZMI. If you use OSX, there are special Calibre instructions to follow first. If you use Windows, pay particular attention to the comments about the Windows Administrator requirements. If you use Linux, you are good to go.

    After installing the ZMI plug-in and restarting Calibre, read the ToolTips in each of ZMI's Tabs to thoroughly familiarize yourself with your options prior to actually using it.

    The thread for ZMI can be found at: but the Original Post is the only thing worth reading.

    Hope that helps.
  • Thanks,
    I ended up just dragging and dropping the pdfs to Zotero, using the PDF metadata search and now just manually adding the data for those that weren't found.
  • The Calibre Zotero Metadata Importer (ZMI) plug-in now has an option to export Calibre Metadata to an RIS file for importing into Zotero. The RIS file format that is exported is custom-tailored for Zotero's "RIS.js" import translator for a reference type of "Book".

    The original post for ZMI includes images and examples of the new functionality.

    ZMI now requires a minimum Calibre version of 3.0.0, and a minimum Zotero version of 5.0.0.
  • The Calibre Zotero Metadata Importer (ZMI) plug-in can now export PDF files from Calibre, along with all of their Calibre metadata, for import into Zotero using an RIS file. It also continues to be able to import Zotero File Attachments into Calibre, along with all of their Zotero metadata, using a Zotero .csv export file.
  • I added ZMI to the listing of Zotero plugins:
  • Does this only work for pdfs? Or - put differently - could it be made to work with other (unencrypted, of course) book formats as well (especially mobi and epub)? Because that is indeed a functionality I have been waiting for for a long time.
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