Citations with Scrivener 3 and Zotero — RTF Scan

One of the tech ques­tions I often get asked is how to set­up cita­tions in Scrivener using Zotero as a research man­ag­er. I have been mean­ing to write this post for quite a while, and was prompt­ed on the top­ic again today. 

There are mul­ti­ple ways that this can work, and in anoth­er post I may go into my extend­ed set­up util­is­ing LaTeX and Biblatex-SBL. But for now here is a quick way that i use for short­er papers and col­lab­o­ra­tive work that requires Word.

The core of this method is using the RTF Scan fea­ture in Zotero, along with a short code that you input into Scrivener. The short codes come in var­i­ous forms, but the sim­plest is just Author, Date and page ref­er­ence as fol­lows: {AuthorSurname, Year, pageref} with the braces sur­round­ing the com­ma delim­it­ed code. This is sim­ply insert­ed into a foot­note with­in Scrivener like so:

Of course this can cause issues if there are mul­ti­ple ref­er­ences pub­lished by the same author in the same year. However, this can be mit­i­gat­ed in a few ways. The sim­plest is to use {AuthorSurname, “Title,” Year, pageref}. But occa­sion­al­ly this does­n’t work due to punc­tu­a­tion in the title. In these cir­cum­stances I like to add a short title to the Author field like so:

This will then break the scan fea­ture, but it will prompt you to select the cor­rect paper. The short title then allows you to eas­i­ly find that paper in your database.

You can then export your doc­u­ment to RTF like so:

This can then be scanned using the RTF Scan feature:

If you have any scan codes that it can­not find it will prompt you to select them:

Select your out­put format:

Then an RTF doc­u­ment is gen­er­at­ed that can be import­ed into Word for fur­ther manip­u­la­tion, with the cita­tion appear­ing like so:

Overall it is a rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple process, and one that allows for rapid export of papers for var­i­ous purposes.

If you want to see how I use Zotero as a research man­ag­er, then I have post­ed on that here and on advanced Zotero here and then on Zotero++ here.

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