HOWTO: embed zotero-compatible metadata in PDF?

Hi -

I'm preparing a document (working paper) for publication online, in PDF format.

I know that zotero has a mechanism for trying to "Retrieve metadata for PDF", but I don't know how it works or what it's based on (within the PDF or otherwise). I have tried it on my candidate PDF and it doesn't find anything.

Is there a specific or preferred way of embedding bibliometric metadata directly in the PDF in such a way that zotero will pick it up correctly?

Thanks - Barry.
  • I never add metadata to the PDF, but if I see the metadata from Elsevier articles, then I see these metadata:
    - title = journal tile
    - authors = all authors in format author1; author 2; ...; authorN
    - description contain name of journal, volume (issue) pages. doi:XXXX
    - dublin core metadata
    - prismastandard metadata
  • Embedded metadata is rare and often of low quality. Zotero doesn’t use it at all. The procedure Zotero uses is basically to first look for a DOI on the first few pages of the PDF then, if that fails, to search for a block of text from the middle of the document in Google Scholar. (I might be missing a search step there, but Zotero doesn’t use embedded metadata.)

    The best way to ensure Zotero can find metadata for PDFs is to ensure that they have high quality searchable text. But generally, you should avoid using the Retrieve Metadata function at all, as its results will typically be lower quality than importing the item using the Save to Zotero button in your browser.
  • edited July 24, 2023
    I do not understand this, I am not a developer. I am on a US Government site, and the files I am downloading are not doi documents or on google scholar. So how do I make my own metadata for the pdfs that I have downloaded? There is no meta data fields to edit in the far right pane of the Zotero App on Windows, or even online.

    I use Adobe Acrobat Pro, have updated the author and keywords in the properties. However, Still no metadata shows up when I reload the document into Zotero.
  • Right-click ---> Create Parent Item in Zotero
  • Why did this have to be changed…sigh thanks Adam Smith
  • FWIW, this isn't new, only the label of the menu item changed slightly for Zotero 6
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