Zettelkasten Forum

Zotero Question?

edited February 25 in The Archive

I'm migrating to Zotero as my bibliography manager.

Maybe you can help? I like the drag and drop feature of Zotero. Being able to drag and drop the cite key is great! But the format is wonky, I think. (Pictured Below) From examples, I've seen the cite key is formated [@cheng:2015].

Is [@cheng:2015] or @chang:2015 or cheng:2015 the format preferred by pandoc?
Is there a way to get Zotero to "Quick Copy" the cite key in this format?
Am I completely off base and displaying my ignorance?

Post edited by Will on

Will Simpson
I'm a zettelnant.
Research areas: Attention Horizon, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing


  • @Will I do use Zotero and occasionally export a full reference (or reference list). I just tried exporting the citation key and get something like:

    (Ray Stewart et al. 1998)

    The format is selected at the time of export. The above comes from "Chicago Manual of Style (author-date)"; there are a number of others you could select. However, I've tried a few and don't see any of them that will generate the cite key in the manner you wish. However, if you click on "Manage styles" below the window listing the available styles for the cite key, and then on the style editor button, I believe you can create your own style.

  • It's either [@key] or @key. Depends on whether you want an in-text citation or a set off citation.
    1. Doe (2020) argues ... => @doe
    2. Some statement (Doe 2020). =>[@doe]

    You should use the Zotero better bibtex plugin as this will give you better control of the citation keys and more export options. You can even call the Zotero citation picker from external applications, which is quite fancy.

  • @Will I second @denismaier on the Better Bibtex plugin. You'll have more control over the citekeys, they won't contain special characters, and they will be guaranteed unique (which I understand is not the case with the standard key).

    I understand the standard format is [@citekey] but it also supports inline @citekey. This post cleared it up for me

  • @TRumnell said:
    @Will I second @denismaier on the Better Bibtex plugin.

    I use the Better Bibtex plugin, but the configuration is not working on setting the cite key format. Might you have a different setup in the Zotero preferences?

    Thanks for the pointer to this informative web article.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing

  • edited February 27

    @Will The keys look fine to me. Just remove the @ from the pattern. The @ is not part of the key and I think it's not even allowed in citation keys. Just choose the appropriate export or drag and drop format.

    Post edited by denismaier on
  • @Will -- I'm not sure about drag and drop, but Shift + Command + C will copy the selected cite key in the [@citekey] format. It also works for multiples in a [@citekey1; @citekey2; @citekey3] format.

    Does that get you closer to your desired outcome?

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