Sci-Hub as backfall

  • The fix is in the connector, i.e. the browser extension. 5.0.25 is not released yet.
  • I found this sci-hub lookup connector

    "name": "Sci-Hub Lookup",
    "alias": "Sci-Hub",
    "icon": "null",
    "_urlTemplate": "{z:DOI}",
    "description": "Sci-Hub full text pdf search",
    "hidden": false,
    "_urlParams": [],
    "_urlNamespaces": {
    "z": "",
    "": ""
    "_iconSourceURI": ""
  • There are two types of Sci-Hub lookup engine available at:
  • I did a short explanation about how to add a custom PDF resolver that use Zotero.

    Hop it can help.
  • Status check on this - as of mid 2019 the zotero connector will extract a doi from a sci-hub page but will not download the sci-hub hosted fulltext.

    The workaround: download the document and then manually drag the PDF into zotero

    Providing a properly working sci-hub translator has less liability than using sci-hub as a backup resolver. To wit, it does not cause zotero to illegally download without user knowledge, or to automatically break the paywall on sites. Nor does it reduce Sci-hub ad revenue.

    The use case does, as it always did, depend on the user to use sci-hub only if they have institutional or jurisdictional permission to access the respective paper. Any liability is strictly in the user's hands - this is just another data source that zotero can understand
  • Sorry, we're not going to ship a sci-hub translator with Zotero. Just like gagarine did for the lookup, people are obviously welcome to create their own.
  • I think I should take back my analysis as well - zotero's funding and standing in the academic community may be at risk if it did endorse Sci-Hub. As such it would not be reasonable to expect sci-hub features to ship with zotero now or at any time in the near future.

    I do think supporting Sci-Hub is of critical importance for establishing open access for the 80 million potential scientists who will come online in the coming decades; anyone who would like to collaborate on an equitable integration of sci-hub into zotero should please feel free to contact me (

    Thanks for your time, Adam.
  • It appears there has been a regression though and the issue at persists today, as maxsu noted.
  • It's not a regression — the outer page just now includes a DOI, so Zotero offers to save data for it as it would on any other page. The PDF icon only appears when no translator is triggered on the page and a PDF is detected in an iframe, as a workaround for sites that display PDFs in wrapper pages.

    We'll look into offering the PDF option as an option in the save menu even when there's a translator on the parent page.
  • edited August 7, 2019
    Oh, but note that, if you're using Firefox, you can right-click on a framed PDF and choose This Frame -> Show Only This Frame and then click the save button (which should be the PDF icon) on the PDF itself.
  • Gotcha, thanks, Dan!
  • I am happy to learn about the "Show Only This Frame" trick!

    > We'll look into offering the PDF option as an option in the save menu even when there's a translator on the parent page.

    I like this. I noticed that sometimes the 'is PDF Frame' feature briefly sets the PDF icon, before the parent translator loads and takes over.
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