Adding a reference by URL in desktop app (like you can do in web app or zbib)

When using, you can just paste a url and you will get a citation. For example:

will produce (APA 7th):

Conlen, M., Mervosh, S., & Ivory, D. (2021, February 25). Nursing homes, once hotspots, far outpace u. S. In covid declines. The New York Times.

You can do the same in Zotero Web Library by clicking that magic wand button and it will be identified and added correctly as a newspaper article.

But if I try the same with Zotero desktop app by clicking that magic wand, I'll get an error message:

"Lookup failed - Zotero could not find any identifiers in your input. Please verify your input and try again."

Is it possible to add a newspaper article (or similar) by just using the URL, in the Zotero desktop app? Of course it is possible with the browser add-on, but can you do it directly in the Zotero desktop application?
  • edited February 25, 2021
    You're really meant to add URLs from the browser, since those use your existing cookie state, including web-based proxy access and other site logins. While Zotero has the ability to save directly from URLs (which would be roughly equivalent to what you'd get when you on ZoteroBib or in the web library, barring IP-based subscription access), the results might not be as good, including for downloading PDFs, so it's not something we support when you have the Zotero Connector available.

    (We may, however, make it a possibility when using Create Parent Item, since there you already have the PDF, and the alternatives — like saving a separate item from the connector and dragging the PDF on top of it — are less good.)
  • Thanks for a thorough explanation, I did not even think about that.
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