Scanning ISBN Barcode to input books to Zotero library

Is there a way to input a book into one's Zotero library by scanning its barcode with an app on Android phone or iPad?
  • Thanks! I've checked it out and it works with my iPad. Is there something equivalent for Android devices?
  • Not that I'm aware of, but see the note at the bottom:
    P.S. If you don’t use an iPhone or iPad […] you can still save a book from your phone when you’re away from your computer by entering the ISBN manually. Simply bookmark this page and load it whenever you need to add a physical book.
  • There was support for this in Zandy, but it appears that it broke when OCLC removed the API that it was using:

    It looks like I can bring it back to life by migrating to Citoid (, which happily uses Zotero's own translator architecture under the hood.
  • edited March 19, 2019
    There's no need for a translation API. You can just scan the barcode and open a webview at[isbn] — that's what the iOS shortcut is doing.
  • the link[isbn] is causing an error, has the right link changed? the apple shortcut is causing the same error so I think it is this link and then I need to crawl into the shortcut and change it but I can't figure out what the correct link should be to save something to my library by ISBN
  • @kwjagoe: Not all ISBNs can be retrieved. You'd have to post the ISBN here that's not working for us to say more, but it's certainly still working in general.
  • Hello, thanks for the reply. It wasn't the ISBN because I was able to add it in the desktop application then the same ISBN (1558964495) as well as several others were throwing the error when I tried it on

    I'm not sure what changed, but the exact same ISBN (it was even still in my computer's memory when I did a cmd-p) worked a few hours later. So, it is working but I'm not sure what changed.
  • How do we save to a specific collection using the shortcut? I downloaded it and it works but I have to go to my library and still move it to where I want it. I want it to go to the same place every time, just a more specific place than the shortcut takes it. Help!
  • A solution for Android is Barcode Scanner (

    Go to settings, add a custom search url and enter

    Scan the barcode and click on 'Custom Search' in the bottom right corner. This will take you to the Zotero webview.

    I don't know if it is possible to directly save to a collection or group library.
  • I've just been down this same road for Android. @danb 's solution above works, but I found it is stuck in landscape mode on my Pixel 6 Pro, which means turning the phone around to scan, which is annoying.

    I found QR & Barcode Scanner (by Gamma Play) works well (although it has adds unless you pay):

    To make it work:

    Go to Settings/Custom Action and enter a description then type this into the URL box (note it is a different string to previous solution):{code}

    Click Add To, wherein I have All selected, though there is an ISBN option.

    Then click enable.

    I hope that helps someone.

    I would imagine other scanner apps can do this, but I stopped looking there. The Pixel's camera app picks up barcodes, but I can't see a way to enter a custom search, which is a shame as it would be nice not to have to have to install an app just for this. However, hardly surpising I suppose, as Google are rather protective of their game!
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