Answered By: Gabe Gossett
Last Updated: Feb 09, 2016     Views: 193

There are a two things that might be causing the problem you are encountering: either the PDFs are not directly available via the database you are searching (this is very common with PsychINFO and Web of Science) and therefore cannot be imported into Zotero or your Zotero preferences are set to not automatically import PDFs.

PDF availability issue: Keep in mind that Zotero will only bring in PDFs when the PDF is directly available in a database. In the example in the image below there are two articles from a database, one that includes the “PDF Full Text” and the other with a “Find it!” button. To get the PDF for the “Find it!” source into Zotero you need to first click on the “Find it!” button, click on the link to access the full text, if that is available, then import it into Zotero once you have either a PDF link or are viewing the source (keep in mind that some sources will not immediately be available—though we can usually get them for you in about 13 hours via inter-library loan).

Image showing how when there is a Find it button on a database source Zotero cannot import a PDF.


PDF import settings issue: If the above issue is not the problem then you should check your preferences and make sure you have automatic PDF imports selected. Here’s how to do that:


Image showing how to locate preferences under the gear icon.


Image showing that you need to be in the general preferences tab and make sure PDF import is selected to import PDFs into Zotero.



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