Keeping a BibTex file per collection in sync with Zotero

In Mendeley I have the option to keep a .bib file per collection always in sync with the library. Is this an option with Zotero? My workflow is based on using bibtex files, rather than plugins because I don't use Microsoft Word. Thanks!
  • edited May 15, 2021 and optionally checking "all child collections" in the auto-export. I think you'll find a much improved bib(la)tex experience with Zotero, compared to Mendeley.
  • Thanks, I am on Zotero 5.0.97-beta.25, and I don't see the "all child collections", but I can export specific collections in separate .bib files or the entire Library in one .bib file. Seems to be working fine. One question though: the checkbox "include Files" when exporting the bibtex file, what does it do?
  • You need to have the BBT plugin installed, create an auto-export, then go into the preferences => BBT => Automatic export and then check the checkbox for "Export all child collections". But you can also set up as many separate auto-exports as you need to separate folders instead of exporting everything to a single folder.
  • The "Export Files" options means the attachments get exported along with the bib files. For writing articles you generally don't want that.
  • All perfectly clear! Thanks for the explanations. Now I found the "Export all child collections", very handy since I want each and every of them exported and synced.
  • Note that it currently does not remove bib files when the corresponding collection is removed in Zotero.
  • Noted, thanks!
  • "Export Files" also makes BBT exports substantially slower; on the one hand, there's just the copying of files that takes time, but also that exporting files disables the BBT cache for that export, and cached exports are noticeably faster.
  • That makes sense. Probably a feature I won't be needing. Thanks again. Looking forward to having my Zotero working and giving my farewell to Mendeley :)
  • From my pov mendeley needs a kick in the nether regions sooner than a farewell, but welcome to Zotero.
  • That's good too :D
  • Is there a way to auto-sync both ways from .bib file to Zotero Collection and vice versa? I'm wondering because that would make git workflow easier - the .bib file is tracked with git, and Zotero reads out any changes & updates the Collection automatically.
  • No, because the bib file does not have enough info to detect which way discrepancies between Zotero and the bib file should be synced, or how changed entries should be merged. It would also probably be prohibitively slow (LaTeX parsing is non-trivial).
  • Where can I enable in the last version auto-export "Export all child collections"?
  • Once you've set up an auto export, you can check the option on it in the preferences.
  • Thank you, emilianoeheyns, that makes sense. I was expecting sth along those lines. Are there suggestions how best to keep Zotero Collections in sync with collaborators via git?
  • Thanks, found it! What is the difference between exporting to Better BibTex and just Bibtex?
  • Better BibTeX is better, obviously ;). For general data exchange, the standard bibtex exporter should suffice, but BBT is more precise, and offers functionality for bibtex-related workflows beyond just export.
  • Of course, the clue is in the name :) Thanks!
  • edited June 13, 2022
    To which I should add, for data exchange the standard BibTeX export may well be better. bibtex (and biblatex) is much more complicatedflexible under the hood than most of its users will realize (I've had a fair share of surprises). Applications that claim to be able to consume bibtex often only support the most simplistic output, and may well drop more data on the floor during import when presented with BBTs (better!) bibtex.
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