How to link Zotero private group with Overleaf

I am trying to link a Zotero private group I have just created with my Overleaf account with no success. The bibtex file which is created in Overleaf is the one of My Library.

Do you know what could be the reason and how I can fix this?

  • You'd have to ask Overleaf -- they provide the integration -- but I vaguely recall that this may not be possible (you can use a combination of Better BibTeX in Zotero and git integration in Overleaf for a similar effect and that'd work with groups, but it's a lot more involved to set up, of course)
  • Thanks for the reply. I have contacted Overleaf support as well...

    I am not sure I have the right level of expertise to try your suggestion (I'm a beginner). If anybody has a simpler workaround, I am happy to give it a try.
  • The Dropbox sync from overleaf will also work, and it's easier to set up.
  • Hi,

    Any update from Overleaf?

  • I am not sure about private groups in general, but i managed to get it working with a group with these settings:

    Public: Closed Membership
    Group Library: Anyone can view, only members can edit

    You can hit the zotero api to fetch the bibfile for a group using something like this:

    Replace the group id: 2501167 with your own, finding the id is a bit obscure, [3] describes where to find it.

    In overleaf when creating a new file you can specify an external url. Use the one above. For the name use something like "references.bib".

  • I love you Christian. It just made my project work 1000x easier.
  • edited October 29, 2020
    This was very helpful indeed! Thank you.
  • Finding the group id for Christian's method can be done in a much simpler way using the Zotero web page! You can simply navigate to your group from and the URL will take the form

    I'm not sure if this is new but I stumbled upon it when creating my first group for this method.
  • I would be surprised if this worked with groups with >100 items, though, as the API (like all REST APIs) is paginated, i.e. only provides X number of items for any given call (and 100 is the max for the Zotero API).

    That said, if a URL works for Overleaf, using Better BibTeX or so to create an auto-updating bibtex file for the group and then syncing that to a URL, be it via github or via Dropbox, seems trivially easy, so I'd just do that.
  • Overleaf also has direct git access for projects -- each project is it's own git repo synced directly to Overleaf. You can get the git URI via the project menu, above the github link in the sync section.
  • edited November 22, 2020
    > I would be surprised if this worked with groups with >100 items

    @adamsmith you are correct. I've tried this by setting the limit=2, and I get only 2 items, so @christian_moedrup_legaard 's suggestion is limited to groups with 100 items.
  • Does anyone happen to know how to link to subfolders in Zotero? That is, I can link Overleaf with my Zotero group, but I cannot access the subfolders of our Zotero group.
  • edited February 19, 2021
    If the 100 entries max limitation is not a problem for you, you can use the rest url suggested by @christian_moedrup_legaard, only modified as follows:
  • As suggested by @emilianoeheyns and @adamsmith by far the cleanest and easiest way to sync references between Zotero groups and Overleaf is by using Better Bibtex to update a file in the Dropbox folder connected to the Overleaf project. However, I recently realised that there is a problem with this method. When Overleaf collaborators / Zotero group members add references to Zotero, they remain inaccessible in their Overleaf project until they are updated in the "owner's" Zotero, when the local file can be updated by Better Bibtex, then updated by Dropbox to Overleaf. This can be problematic.

    Is there any work around or configuration that will avoid this problem?

    PS: I have tried the rest url and this works but the 100 entries is indeed a problem for me.
  • As long as you pin your keys and/or choose your citekey pattern uniformly across participants, there should be no problem having all participants set up auto-export on their own system, saving to the dropbox folder.
  • Thank you. What you suggest should work, but for everything to update properly I believe it would require participants to have a paid Overleaf subscription in order to get Dropbox linking. In our project, the "owner" has the paid subscription but not participants. So there is a financial consideration. Unless there is some other work-around.
  • edited March 23, 2021
    There's a way around that, but it's not trivial to set up. Zotero can be automated with some jerry-rigging, so you can set it up on a server to start, sync, export, and Dropbox or git could bring it to over leaf. You'd run this on a schedule, make sure it's part of the group, done.

    But definitely non-trivial to set up. I do it for my tests, so I know it works, technically.

    Easier to set up would be to leave a PC running with zotero to do sync & dropbox. Easier to set up, and you'd get overleaf synced faster.

    *technically* it must be possible to have a script emulate a browser login and perform the upload via that route. Very much not trivial to get done. I've tinkered with it long ago.
  • I just seemed to get around the 100 reference limit. By following jmandreoli February 19th, 2021 post above, I made several subfolders called "zotero1", "zotero2", etc. syncing each to a separate file in overleaf. Then if any of these folders get over 100 references as I work on a document with collaborators, I plan on moving references to another folder.

    See any issues with this approach?
Sign In or Register to comment.