Check if references is already in library before saving it?

Hello, I wonder if it's possible to check from firefox if the reference is already in the library without saving it and then checking duplicates. It should be an easy operation but I don't see any option to do that. Do I really have to add it and then check if it's a duplicate? It sounds silly.
  • There is currently no way to check whether an item is already present in the library before saving. My recommendation is to not worry about it--just save items and periodically use the Merge Duplicates feature to clean up your library in batches.

    (There is a plugin that enables such a pre-flight check when trying to save items, but it is not maintained by its author and will stop working when Zotero 5 releases later this year.)

    This is actually a very challenging technical problem. Complete support for pre-saving duplicate checking would require Zotero to essentially run its save function on every item on every page you load in your browser. This would have a terrible impact on performance and speed. Support for a more limited check that should cover most cases without seriously impacting performance (checking for identical DOI or URL) is planned, but no estimate for when it will arrive.
  • edited November 18, 2016
    Thanks for the reply. Are you saying it's not easy to implement the following working scheme?
    1 User clicks save button
    2 Zotero checks if title/authors/etc combination is in library without saving.
    if not present save
    else prompt user for cancel save operation or continue.

    The function that reads the tile/author from the webpage extracts only that information and uses it with a lookup function to check if duplicate exists in library. Why do you have to save all information before being able to do that?
  • The way Zotero saves items, the concept of "just" looking up author/title doesn't make sense (e.g. because Zotero downloads a citation data file in RIS format or so to import anything at all), so it's all or nothing.
    The relevant ticket for the DOI/URL check bwiernik describes is here:
    The "Prevent Duplicates" add-on that he mentions (which does what you want but for Firefox only) is here:
    Contributions to both welcome.
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