I have access to pdf, but zotero cannot automatically add it

Hi everybody, it happens to me that I have access to an online resource but the chrome plugin does not extract the pdf automatically, so I need to download them manually and then add the pdf to my Zotero library. It mostly happens with journals in the Science Direct repository. Is there a solution? Thank you
  • Can you provide an example URL and a Debug ID from Zotero (not the Connector) for trying to save and not getting a PDF?
  • I was experiencing the same problem and tried to replicate for a Debug ID. Turned out the pdfs then were automatically downloaded. The only thing I did in the meantime was manually download and add a pdf to Zotero. Afterwards, this and other pdfs from the same journal were automatically retrieved.
    Here is the Debug ID anyways: D1976779603
  • edited 2 days ago
    Elsevier has some over-zealous anti-bot defenses on ScienceDirect that make it much harder for Zotero to download PDFs than on other sites, even when you have subscription-based access. We have a special method specifically for this purpose, but it may fail intermittently and potentially needs a longer timeout. @JCricchio, if you reload the page, make sure nothing else is running on your computer (including a Zotero sync), and try again, does it fail every time? Is this a particularly slow computer?

    See below.
  • edited 2 days ago
    @JCricchio, @jelkebosma, @evelo, @liulu0227, and anyone else experiencing this:

    In the latest Zotero beta, we've increased the timeout somewhat for the special handling we need to use for ScienceDirect. You can try that and let us know if it works for you. If it doesn't, go to the Config Editor in the Advanced pane of the Zotero preferences and try increasing downloadPDFViaBrowser.onLoadTimeout to a higher value — e.g., 2000 or 3000 (2 or 3 seconds) — and then try again. You'll need to reload the page in the browser before trying again.

    See below.
  • @dstillman it still doesn't work.
  • @liulu0227: You'll need to say more than that. Did you try 2000 or 3000? Increase it until it works. If it doesn't work at 10000, provide a Debug ID for that.
  • It didn't work for me. Tried 3000, 6000, 10000... even restarting Zotero and the borwser.

    Debug ID: D773189815
  • It looks like our previous method to get around ScienceDirect's anti-bot measures may no longer be working. We're investigating.
  • Hi, any update on this? It slows down workflow so much to have to save and re upload pdfs.
  • Registering my interest in this too!
  • We believe this is fixed in the latest Zotero beta. You can try that and let us know if it's working for you.
  • Yes, now it works for me! Thanks!
  • Will the beta version be available from chrome eventually too?
  • Those are Zotero app betas, not connector betas, so this applies to all browsers.
  • This should be fixed now in Zotero 6.0.9.
  • After upgrading to 6.0.9, PDF download on sciencedirect still doesn't work for me.

    I checked the debug log and found that the PDF url had been resolved actually, with HTML from sciencedirect like:

    Preparing your download

    However, later it reported like:
    Error: downloadPDFViaBrowser: Loading PDF via browser timed out on the JS challenge page after 1500ms Error: downloadPDFViaBrowser: Loading PDF via browser timed out on the JS challenge page after 1500ms onLocationChange@chrome://zotero/content/xpcom/attachments.js:1211:42 From previous event: Zotero.Attachments</this.downloadPDFViaBrowser@chrome://zotero/content/xpcom/attachments.js:1192:35 Zotero.Attachments</this.downloadFile@chrome://zotero/content/xpcom/attachments.js:1130:20

    This reminded me the parameter downloadPDFViaBrowser.onLoadTimeout provided by @dstillman in this discussion before. After setting it from 1500 to 15000, the download succeeded. Maybe this parameter should be set larger by default, with the consideration of different network condition worldwide.
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