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The most basic way to organize your library is through collections. Below is some information about how collections work in Zotero. If you would rather watch a screencast about this information instead of reading about it, click the image below.

Zotero allows you to organize your records into collections. Each collection might correspond to a research project or a specific area of interest. Your organized collections appear in the left column of your Zotero pane, and the center column shows the contents of those collections. Unlike traditional filing systems, Zotero allows a single item to be in multiple collections at the same time. In this sense your collections are more like playlists in iTunes than folders in a filling cabinet. This allows you to organize the same item in different ways to suit your needs.

“My Library” will always contain a master list of all of your items. If you delete an item from My Library it will disappear completely from all collections. (But not vice versa: see below.) Any changes you make to an item, whether in My Library or a collection, will appear in any other collection the item is a part of.

Creating a New Collection

Click on the New Collection icon above the left column. You will be prompted to give the collection a title. You can then add items to this collection, either by dragging them from the center column over to the new collection, or by uploading the item to Zotero while the collection is open (highlighted).

You can also add a subcollection within another collection either by creating a new collection and dragging it into an existing collection or by right-clicking on an existing collection and choosing “New Subcollection”.

Adding Items to Other Collections

Items can be added to other collections by dragging the items from the center column to the desired collections in the left column. The item is not duplicated.

Renaming a Collection

Right-click on the collection (control-click on Mac) and select “Rename Collection” from the drop-down menu. A dialog will prompt you to give the collection a new name.

Deleting an Item

To delete an item from My Library, select it and hit the Backspace or Delete key.

To delete an item from a collection, press Ctrl-Backspace or Ctrl-Delete (Cmd-Delete/Backspace on Macs).

In all views, you can also right-click (control-click on Macs) and select “Delete Selected Item From Library…”.

Removing an Item from a Collection

To remove an item from a collection, select it and press the Delete or Backspace key. You can also right-click (control click on Mac) and select “Remove Selected Item”.

This will only remove this item from the individual collection, not from My Library or other collections.

Identifying the Collections an Item is in

To see all the collections an item is in, select the item and then hold down the “Option” key on Macs or the “Control” key on Windows or the “Alt” key on Linux. This will highlight all collections that contain the selected item.

collections.txt · Last modified: 2010/09/10 09:50 by kalvesmaki
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