Bug: Zotero 5 does not export URLs for bibliography sometimes.

I use a custom CSL file to generate references which optionally include a URL.

Some, but not all, of these URLs are not included.

Here is a minimal test case to reproduce this problem, based on a minimally complex CSL file.

1. Install a minimal test CSL file which should ONLY print an article key plus a url:

2. Now install the following references into Zotero:

3. Now, generate bibliographies using the "URL test" style file. Compare your results with mine on Zotero 4 and 5

For me, In Zotero, installed on Firefox Ubuntu 49.0 the output is

For me, In Zotero 5.0 beta.r69+a2b7f08 on OSX 10.11.6 the output is

I expect these two files to be the same, but they are not. For example, in Zotero 4, Hestenes "The design of linear algebra and geometry" DOI:10.1007/BF00046920 appears as


But in Zotero 5, it appears as


I can't work out what makes a different between a URL that Zotero 5 ignores and one that it does not ignore.

  • I suspect you have "Include URLs of paper articles in references" enabled in the Cite -> Styles pane in Zotero 4.0 but not in Zotero 5.0.
  • You are correct. I'm delighted there's an instant fix for my problem... Thanks @"Dan Stillman" !

    However, it is a bug that this setting is not correctly migrated from Zotero 4 to Zotero 5.
    I didn't manually change that setting after upgrading Zotero.

    (Aside: What a weird setting! I can't imagine wanting the semi-random success of the translator for a given website in getting page numbers for a particular article to silently suppress URLs for that in the bibliography, and if I did I would do it through CSL. Would be curious to know for whose workflow this is essential)
  • This is for pretty much any journal article, all of which have a URL, but hardly every should those URLs be printed for standard citation styles.
  • However, it is a bug that this setting is not correctly migrated from Zotero 4 to Zotero 5.
    I doubt that — no changes are made to settings going from Zotero Standalone 4.0 to Zotero Standalone 5.0. Settings aren't transferred going from Zotero for Firefox to Zotero Standalone, though.
  • Ah, OK. This might be a terminological difficulty then. So I migrated from Zotero 4 standalone to Zotero for Firefox 5.0 (i thought there *was* no standalone 5.0)

    After pointing Zotero 5.0 Firefox to my Zotero 4.0 standalone folder, Zotero for did its db upgrade and migrated much of what seemed to me to be settings - for example, without any intervention by me it had all the citation styles and sync preferences/login info that I had in zotero standalone.

    As an outsider this looks a bunch like most of my settings are being transferred, but some are being ignored in the migration. However, I guess some of these things aren't 'settings' in Zotero parlance? Is's only the "non-settingsy" configuration data that is migrated, not the "settingsy" configuration data?

    Checking the config I can see other settings are indeed different than I assumed, which I presume corresponds to those settings resetting to default.

    Even if this is expected behaviour, it's not necessarily intuitive to outsiders; a documentation note by might nice upon upgrade. Otherwise the very smoothness and simplicity of the upgrade leads us (me) to be overconfident that everything is finished after it, rather than starting to inspect checkboxes etc and copying their values into the interface for the new version. (which is tricky if you didn't clone the storage folder before migration...)

    ANYway, nice support work! Super happy with Zotero 5; It's worth the unexpected lesson in checkbox rechecking.
  • There is a Standalone 5.0beta, too, yes. Check towards the bottom of the pinned beta announcement thread.

    This is unrelated to the 4 to 5 updates. It affects anyone switching between Firefox and Standalone. That's not ideal, but since the Firefox add-on (as a fully functional Zotero; there'll still be a connector) will go away in the not-too-distant future, I don't think it's worth investing into now.
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