How to sync only some group libraries when using multi-computer setup with Zotero?

Setup: I have multiple computers (work and personal) and also have subscription to Zotero based syncing.

What I want to achieve: I want all of my technical knowledge to be in single Zotero database on my personal computer. I have a separate group library for work specific documents. I want that my work computer syncs but only this particular group library through Zotero syncing. [Basically I don't want Zotero desktop client on work computer to store any information regarding other libraries or group libraries while actively allowing syncing of this group library meant for work].

Is there a way to achieve this?

I remain flexible to other options that'll allow selective syncing.
  • The only solution I can think of would be to create a second zotero account. Then from your main account, make your second account a member of the one group library you want to sync. Then on your work computer login through your second account. Then the only items you should have are the ones in the relevant group, as long as you do not add any other items to that second account.
  • edited February 23, 2023
    Currently, a second account is the the only way to do this where the work computer doesn't have access to the other libraries at all.

    If you just don't want the other libraries to be stored locally, you can disable syncing of the other libraries from the Sync pane of the preferences, but the app would still technically have access — e.g., someone with access to the computer could re-enable the library for syncing. (Unchecking libraries there also doesn't currently remove previously downloaded data, though that's planned. For now, if you did this, you'd want to do it from a fresh data directory, before syncing the first time.)

    But the proper solution here would be for us to make it possible to specify which libraries the app should have access to when setting up syncing, so that you only needed one account and no one with access to the computer could access other libraries without your Zotero username and password. A bit complicated to implement, but we'll think about it.
  • That's a neat trick to achieve what I want! Thanks to both of you!

    I also look forward to the possibility of a feature that allows this in future; it'd be great for two reasons: (a) it controls access to data based on computer (b) many organisation/institutions have strict IPR policies, so its super convenient to keep personal work off the work systems and vice-versa.
Sign In or Register to comment.