Is there a way to 'complete' a poor citation?


I'm using Z and I'm running into a little snag. be it using google scholar, or Proquest Business, I find that more often than not I'm having a great deal of trouble getting the right information to be saved into Z for biblio/ref purposes.

Ideally I use the "Add Item by Identifier" option because it ensures that I get the right info... because otherwise I'm usually missing stuff... however sometimes I can access the full-text through Proquest... but it doesn't have a proper identifier code available so saving the citation is useless because the info used to biblio it is shyte...

so my question is as follows: What should I do when I have access to a DOI or ISBN from a site which I don't have access to the full text, but have access to it elsewhere? Is there a way to 'update current Item' with new biblio info?


  • You can't update a citation to get new info based on an identifier. However, you could just create a new item based on the identifier, and then drag any attachments (PDF, etc.) from the old one, then delete it. You could also just grab the PDF, and then use Zotero's retrieve metadata feature, but that comes from Google Scholar, and it sounds like you are not happy with their info. Plus it only works if the PDF has OCRed text.
  • Hey,

    I actually found a way around it. Google scholar has an option which you have to activate in the preferences to "Show links to import citations into". I set it to Endnote and then once I created the new item with that info i just changed the URL to the one where I have access. Voila, problem solved :)

    I just wish I could set the Shortcut keys to what I want - I.e not forced to use CTRL+ALT... but that's another story :)


  • I had the same problem. I want to update some items (they were "in press" to a real volume:page). But by creating a new item, I lost the link between all occurences of this citation in Word and this new identifier. So I have to go through all document to find the old item and replace it by the new one.
    There is a way to shorten the process? Easier update from the same item? Some search and replace in Word?
  • Any further developments on this issue??
  • First of all, the problem of broken citations in the word processor mentioned by mel47 is no longer an issue, since Zotero 3.0 lets you merge citations in a way that preserves those links.

    Still, there is no automated or semi-automated process for updating / completing a citation. This could probably be written relatively easily by a person familiar with Mozilla coding or the Zotero code, but I don't think the tiny core development staff will be able to take it on in the near future.
  • edited August 14, 2019
    I arrive via google their. I think the discussion is now on this tread:
  • For now, the fastest solution would be to go to the publisher website (e.g., using the CrossRef lookup button in the Locate menu [green arrow in upper right corner in Zotero]), import the item again, then merge the two items.

    Another option is to automatically look up the DOI using the DOI Manager plugin, then copy the DOI and use the Magic Wand tool to add an item using the DOI, then merge the two items.
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