Zotero Object Identifier

Probably somethihng like this have already been discussed. And in any case something like this is used internally: you see URLs like zotero://report/collection/7/html/report.html?sort=firstCreator/d or zotero://attachment/15226/

What I think of is a zorero URL which can be called from external programs resulting in actions like following:

- if FF with Zotero is installed on this system, and the item is present, then Zotero pane opens and presents (i.e. selects) the item. (Would be useful e.g. to link Zotero to notetaking applications)

- if not all of the above conditions are met, then you browser steers to the Zotero site, which tries to find the item in the corresponding collection online (either in your own synchronized Library, or in the group you have access to). You may need to identify yourself, of cause. This could work e.g. on your iPhone.

- if such an URL is embedded into RTF (as an alternative to {Smith, 2009} etc.), Zotero either tries to find the item in the local collection, or get the data from the Zotero site, of from the DOI or other identifier locally, or get data from an identifier from the Net. In this way you could pass your publication to a co-author without bothering too much how to pass the bibliographic data along.

The URL can (in many cases - should!) be redundant and could look like this:


- to see better what I mean, the same URL split to more lines:

collection="My New Paper"
title="Atmospheric pressure plasmas"

Actually, the first position (item=CJH4TJAR) would be sufficient, if the item is from your own collection. The next two (user and doi) are added to enable identifying the item in other situations, and the last ones - for the human readability.

If you want to refer not to a single item, but to a collection, the URL could look like this:


(see e.g. http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/8459/zotero-integration-with-eporfolio-system/ )

For advanced users, it would be even possible to write down queries in this way.

You should be able to copy such an URL into the clipboard from Zotero plugin, or produce it from within Zotero website.
  • Before you come up with a complete solution, it might help to first define simply and clearly what you're trying to achieve.

    My personal opinion is HTTP URIs offer a lot of power as a mechanism to do a lot of what you seem to want (one as yet not fully supported by Zotero), and there's unlikely a need to invent something new.
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