Collection from Bibliography?

Is there a way to generate a new collection from an automatic bibliography?
  • Can extract references from a Word document with a Zotero Bibliogrpahy and import them into Zotero. Note that these will be separate new items in your library.

    A feature for Document Collections listing the items cited in a document is currently being developed.
  • I guess reimporting into Zotero would not really help me much, I would have double items of everything.

    That feature would indeed be useful.
  • BBT can do this if you have an aux file
  • Can you explain? What is BBT, what is an aux file?
  • BBT:
    aux -- an auxiliary file generated when generating LaTeX documents. If you're working in Word/LibreOffice, this probably isn't applicable to you, I'm afraid.
  • Ah. I guess that doesn't help me much...
  • It's most definitely only useful for latex fiends, but technically it is a solution to the question as initially stated :)
  • absolutely -- and I wasn't aware of that, looking forward to exploring.
  • For reference: Here's the wiki link to the BBT feature called AUX Scanner
  • Hello all - just continuing this thread. As we tended to work in Google Docs (prior to the plugin) we normally manually maintained a saved search in a shared library alongside the citations. However, with the lovely new integration, we can now create the bibliographies straight in Google Docs (thanks!!!)

    However, this does raise the issue of this thread: How do we get the bibliographies back into Zotero?

    I do think this is hugely important: Bibliographies are 'data', and that data must be sharable in appropriate formats (as opposed to e.g. APA-formatted text). For example, we have (only just) started systematically sharing our lists of references form our papers, see e.g. here

    It's a real shame that while Zotero obviously knows about the bibliography (in the window 'edit bibliography' > 'References in bibliography') there's no way of exporting this to a collection. Or, even better, to tag the items so that this can be done incrementally.

    What is the simplest way of adding this? Can this be done via a plugin? Is this a core change?

    Btw. similar topics discussed in these threads:
  • A simple method:
    Copy the formatted references to, export as BibTeX, import into a new collection in Zotero, then use the Duplicate Items view to merge with existing items. (If you use Word, can directly extract references from your document without using AnyStyle as an intermediate step.)

    Native "Document Collections" in Zotero for open documents are planned, but no ETA on when they might be implemented.
  • I know, sure, it's possible to work around - and thanks for those tips. However, it does seem like a lot of work when the data is already available to Zotero :)

    Downloading the linked version from Google Docs, and then using the API to create the collection would be smoother - the linked version much have the IDs in it, and so one could re-construct a collection. Unfortunately downloading the linked version doesn't work for me atm (in Google Docs), so I couldn't explore that further.
  • Like I said, a feature like you describe is planned, but no ETA on when it might be implemented.
  • FYI - if anyone comes across this thread, the Ref Extractor ( now lets you click a button and each of the extracted references will be selected in your Zotero desktop library which you can easily drag to a specific collection, without importing duplicates!
  • @ttuttle Thanks for sharing Ref Extractor. It works for me!!!

    +1 for the need of this feature as a plugin or native feature in Zotero.

    Example use case:
    I have written a manuscript in Word with citations using Zotero. I need to some way for a collaborator to easily check each of my references on their own (ex: view the PDF). The collaborator may not being using Zotero. It would be great if there was a native method in Zotero to "select" cited references so I can drag them to a collection. Once I do this, I would use the File Hierachy plugin ( to export the PDF to a folder and share with the collaborator. I would love to know if other researcher use a similar workflow. Any best practices they can share ?
  • Any progress on this feature or can anyone suggest a workaround if I am using Libreoffice?

    This feature would help me to easily access all of my citations in Zotero and review them there to correct any mistakes. Thanks.
  • It would be great to have a feature where all items that are cited in Word (using Zotero) can be automatically selected in Zotero so we can drag those items into a new collection.
  • I agree, that is what I am using now. Just curious if there are any plans to incorporate this feature natively in Zotero 6?
  • Definitely still planned as a Zotero feature, yes. Not sure about which version.
  • edited March 23, 2022
    We have a system incorporating kerko and crossref to do that. It uses Zorro item keys, but it's different from the zotero based citation system. If anybody wants to see it, I'm be happy to give a demo (boys meet/zoom).
  • When I went to the Word document, placed my cursor into the bibliography and clicked on the "Add/Edit Bibliography" button, the "Edit bibliography" window shows all the bibliography items in the document, and there is a button with a left pointing arrow. When I pressed that arrow, I was expecting the reference to be copied into the selected collection selected on the left hand side, which of course did not happen unfortunately, so one might say that the UI is suggesting that this function exist.

    Anyways, keep up the good work, I'll be waiting for this functionality to arrive, and in the meantime, please consider having a "delete" icon for removing the selected item from the Bibliography instead of the misleading "arrow" icon.
  • Any update on this feature? Thanks!
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