Zotero to OneDrive

Perhaps I am not aware, but is it possible to sync all data and attachment from Zotero to Onedrive? So I can easily have access to my articles on the go and read them?
  • edited February 19, 2020
    That's the point of Zotero syncing and the Zotero web library.
  • I understand that part. However, that was not what I am asking. I am asking for the possibility of have copies/back up in clouds such as OneDrive. So I can do highlight etc the document. thanks for your input tho
  • Highlight how? In Zotero, to annotate/highlight a PDF you just open the PDF in your PDF reader of choice and then save the file, and Zotero will sync the changes normally.

    If you just want to have a backup, you just back up your Zotero data directory.

    If you don't want to use Zotero syncing, you can use linked files and the third-party ZotFile extension to keep files on an external cloud storage folder.
  • Yes, when I am on my laptop, I do highlight using my laptop PDF reader. I usually read on my way to work/school on an iPad however.
  • edited October 1, 2020
    [Don't do this — D.S.]

    I can my solution to your problem. I have a folder named 'my_zotero' in my onedrive. Also, there is another folder 'my_data directory' inside the folder 'my_zotero'.

    Zotero-> Edit -> Preference -> Advanced -> Files and folders

    Base directory -> Choose 'my_zotero' folder
    Data directory -> Use custom and choose 'my_data_directory'

    Do this on every machine you use and by effect, everything is synced.
  • edited October 1, 2020
    No, you absolutely shouldn't do that. The Zotero data directory should never located within a cloud storage folder. You will corrupt your database and lose data. Zotero will try to warn you about that if it recognizes the path as a known cloud-storage location. You should move it out of there immediately.

    It's fine to save linked files to cloud storage and point the base directory there, but the data directory needs to be on your local disk.
  • Thank you @dstillman, I wasn't aware of that. I think I am being lucky that it never occurred to me.
    However, I have a question regarding this. file Locking happens when Zotero is running. If I close the application, the lock won't be there (I am not an expert, just clarifying). In that case, unless I make any changes parallelly in two machines and/or cloud sync failed, will that be an issue?
  • File locks don't work across cloud storage. There's no way to safely keep your data directory in cloud storage if you have Zotero on multiple computers pointing at that directory.

    The single exception is if you only use Zotero on one computer and use the cloud storage purely as a one-way backup, and even then we don't particularly recommend it.
  • Thank you @dstillman for the information.
  • Can Zotfile do this?
  • Do what? What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
  • se puede editar referencias realizadas con ZOTERO en one drive?
  • I completely understand why zotero strongly discourages keeping your data directory in the cloud. The time that otherwise goes to support users with corrupted databases is better used to deal with other issues.

    Having said that, I would like to better understand what exactly is at risk.

    Background:
    Citavi (another excellent reference manager which I have been using for over 10 years) also strongly recommends not to keep the citavi database in the cloud and I assume that the reasons are exactly the same as for Zotero. When I started using Citavi, that recommendation did not exist (or I was not aware of it) and so I kept did keep my database on my dropbox and when I became aware of the recommendation, I continued doing so because it was simply very convenient.

    So what happened? In over 10 years of database-synching, I did occasionally forget to close Citavi on one computer before opening it on another. I guess that is unavoidable (I did at some point have a script that would close Citavi before the computer hibernates, but that didn't work 100% either). What dropbox did in those cases was it created a copy of the database file, appending something like "copy from on " to the filename and continue using the original database without any issues. Since citavi writes to the database as soon as you change tab (e.g. from title data to abstract) and dropbox also syncs those changes to the cloud long _before_ citavi is closed, the database file was virtually always up to date and the copy that dropbox created was just a redundant copy.

    In some very rare occasions (maybe 2-3 times in those 10+ years) I did have to go back to one of those database copies to recover some note I had taken and that got lost when I opened the database on another computer. But other than that, synching the Citavi-database via dropbox worked fine for me and I definitely never had a corrupted database. --- (To be clear, I do not recommend anyone to follow this practice and I want to emphasize that I would not have done this on any other cloudstorage but dropbox, because of how good dropbox is at syncing data (e.g. it only syncs the parts of the file that have changed, not the entire file). So what I'm saying should be read as my experience with dropbox, not with any cloudstorage. In particular, I would never do this with onedrive, which seems to have its own way of doing things and deciding what data to actually store locally and what to references as a mere link to the cloud.

    Anyway, the point of this story is to ask @dstillman whether there are reasons to assume that zotero would not work like this in combination with dropbox. One reason could, for example, be that zotero doesn't write to the database as frequently as Citavi does. It might also be the case that Citavi actually closes the database after every write-operation while Zotero perhaps doesn't?
  • @haug: The answer is that you will corrupt your database. Don't do it if you don't want to corrupt your database.

    From the linked page:
    You might think this won't happen to you. You are almost certain to be wrong. The Zotero Forums contain countless reports over many years of database corruption resulting from the use of cloud storage folders.
    That very much includes Dropbox.
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