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Two Ways to Sync Your Zotero Group Library in Overleaf

Sometimes the built-in Zotero integration on Overleaf doesn't work. In those cases, use https://api.zotero.org/groups/INSERT_GROUPID/items/top?format=bibtex&style=numeric&limit=100

Two Ways to Sync Your Zotero Group Library in Overleaf
Brooke K. Ryan Brooke K. Ryan Jun 08, 2022 · 2 mins read · 💬 Comment

Here’s a very quick guide on how to connect your Zotero Group Library to Overleaf. I have used the alternative solution detailed below in the past when the default “From Zotero” integration in Overleaf did not work for me. I wanted to post this as a reference—for myself, because I always forget how to do this when I’m about to write a paper—and also in case it happens to be useful for anyone else.

Import from Zotero

First, you should try to import your Zotero group bibliography the “usual” way. To do this, click on “New File”, and select “From Zotero.” You’ll select the appropriate Library from here.

Preferred Way
To get to this dialog, select "New File" from your project page.

After, your bibliography should appear in your project page:

Preferred Way

Most of the time this should work, but I have had an issue on at least one project where this method didn’t work. The second methodology listed below will help in those cases.

Import from External URL

If the first method didn’t work, here’s an easy workaround. Navigate to the same “New File” dialog, but then click “From External URL.”

Using the url https://api.zotero.org/groups/INSERT_GROUPID/items/top?format=bibtex&style=numeric&limit=100, and replacing the INSERT_GROUPID with the appropriate ID from the desired Zotero group, you should be able to import your bibliography this way.

Preferred Way
Use the url https://api.zotero.org/groups/INSERT_GROUPID/items/top?format=bibtex&style=numeric&limit=100 in the From External URL option.

Example

To get the group ID from your Zotero group, you’ll need to go onto your Zotero account on the web interface. For instance, my group library AI Education Project is hosted at https://www.zotero.org/groups/4669023/ai_education_project. The Group ID in this case is the number hash after the groups/, part of the URL, in this case, 4669023.

In order for this workaround to be successful, the Zotero group settings need to be set to “Public.” In the example I’m using, my group type was Public and the Membership was closed.

Preferred Way
Group settings on Zotero must be Public.

Now, go back into Overleaf and paste in this URL with the group ID you just retrieved into the “From External URL” form.

Preferred Way
Pasting the group ID, 4669023, into the URL: https://api.zotero.org/groups/4669023/items/top?format=bibtex&style=numeric&limit=100

Then, navigating to our Overleaf project, we see that the file ai_education_project.bib was successfully imported!

Preferred Way

Conclusion

Hopefully this guide helped anyone who is on a paper deadline and wants to import their group bibliography in an efficient workflow. Happy paper writing!

References

I initially saw this tip written about buried at the bottom of blog post written by Yuxuan Mei [1]. Since I believe this tip is so useful, and in that post its just included at the very bottom, I wanted to make a post dedicated to it entirely for clarity.

  1. [1] Yuxuan Mei, “Using Overleaf with Zotero.”
Brooke K. Ryan
Written by Brooke K. Ryan
I'm currently a graduate student at UC Irvine pursuing my master's in Computer Science. My goal is to increase accessibility in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science more broadly.

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Cite this Post

@misc{ryan-2022-connect-zotero-overleaf,
  author = {Brooke K. Ryan},
  title = { Two Ways to Sync Your Zotero Group Library in Overleaf },
  url = {https://brookekryan.com/blog/connect-zotero-overleaf.html},
  year = { 2022 }
}