13 Basic Searching

13 Basic Searching in Zotero

In this video, I'll show you how to search your Zotero library. Firstly, I'll demonstrate how to sort your items. Then we'll move on to a basic search, which is actually quite powerful. Let's start with sorting. To sort items in a collection or in My Library, click on any of the fields at the top of the middle column.

[00:00:19] For example, if I click on title, all my items are sorted alphabetically by title. You can also add more fields for additional sorting options. Click on the tiny fields icon in the top right hand corner of the middle column. Now click on the field you want to add. I've chosen ' item type'.

[00:00:39] As the fields are a bit squashed, I'm clicking and dragging the header to make more room. You can now see the item type field. If I click on the header, Zotero sorts my item by type, so books are grouped together with journal articles underneath.

[00:00:56] Basic searches are the quickest way of finding specific items in your library. Click inside the search box, above the middle column and start typing your search term. As you type, Zotero filters the items in the middle column to display only those that match your search term. You can change the scope of the search by clicking the arrow to the left of the search box. Now you'll see three options, title, creator, year; that searches just those three fields. All fields and tags; this will search any bibliographic data or tags. So this could include a publisher or a place of publication. And finally, everything. This search is bibliographic data, tags, PDF content, saved webpages, and notes. Yes, this actually searches the content in your PDF attachments. If you can only, remember some words in the article and not the title or author, there's a good chance that you can still find it.

[00:01:53] In the next video, we'll look at advanced searching, and I'll introduce you to some more sophisticated search strategies.