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Zotero's Wikidata translator in use, viewed in Firefox

Zotero is a "free and open-source reference management software to manage bibliographic data and related research materials".

Zotero has a Wikidata translator. It reads metadata from Wikidata items about works, which you can add to your Zotero library and use further for citations or references in your scientific work, academic essays, or on Wikipedia (but consider using Wikipedia's {{Cite Q}} template instead, if available).

In the other direction, with the Wikidata QuickStatements translator you can export metadata in a format understood by QuickStatements, enabling you to more easily create Wikidata items about the works already in your Zotero library. Since Zotero can already read metadata about works from dozens of other websites, including Wikipedia, (through specific translators, or generic metadata such as COinS) or data files such as BibTeX, it can now be used as an intermediary to import that data.

These two translators were developed at the May 2017 WikiCite event in Vienna. Since June 2021 also the QuickStatements translator is now natively shiped with Zotero (no manual hack needed anymore).

Finally, there is Cita, a Wikidata addon that adds citations metadata support to Zotero, including visualization of the local citation graph. It uses cites work (P2860) information available from Wikidata, and enables users to easily contribute missing data.

How to export to QuickStatements[edit]

Export from Zotero to QuickStatements

Setup Quick Copy in Zotero[edit]

  • Open Zotero's preferences dialogue
    • on macOS, choose Zotero > Preferences…
    • on Windows, it's at the bottom of the Edit menu
  • Select the "Export" tab
  • Either
    • Change the "Default Format" to "Wikidata QuickStatements" or:
    • Set up a "Site Specific Setting" for to use "Wikidata QuickStatements"
  • Click OK


Before proceeding, check whether the works you intend to import are already represented by items in Wikidata. Please do not create duplicates!

  • Open and select "New batch"
  • open Zotero
  • select one or more works in Zotero
  • drag the work(s) to QuickStatements (alternatively you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+C and Ctrl/Cmd+V).
  • check the commands and edit where required; for example:
    • is the language of the title correct? (e.g., change LAST [tab] P1476 [tab] und:"example title" to LAST [tab] P1476 [tab] en:"example title")
    • should the authors be items, not strings? (e.g., change LAST [tab] P2093 [tab] "Tim Berners-Lee" to LAST [tab] P50 [tab] Q80)
    • do you need to add "published in" (P1433) statements?
    • are there any garbled characters?
    • is there any extraneous text in any field?
  • in QuickStatements, select "Import V1 commands"
  • run the job QuickStatements
  • check the results are what you expected


  • We recommend adding works in small batches until you are familiar with the outcome.
  • Every exported Zotero item will create a new Wikidata item.
  • Zotero Items, which have already a QID number in the extra field, are not exported, because these items already exists in Wikidata.
    • You should still check for duplicates, and merge any that were created inadvertently.
  • The export focuses on the Wikidata properties with a value and may skip other properties where one needed to look up an item. However, it is possible to add in Zotero to add in the extra field such statements, e.g. for link to a journal P1433: Q70019705.


It is possible to run in Zotero some scripts in advance to improve the export, e.g.

video demonstrating scripts in Zotero

The procedure for using these scripts is:

  1. Copy the code (not the URL!) of the script you wish to use
  2. Open Zotero
  3. Select one or more papers
  4. Select Tools/ Developer/ Run JavaScript
  5. Paste the code from your clipboard into the left-hand ("Code:") pane
  6. Select "Run"
  7. Check that the entries for the papers in Zotero have changed as expected.

A one-minute segment of a video (in German) demonstrating this can be viewed above; the relevant section starts at 1h 33m.


Zotero can also export in (English) Wikipedia citation template format.

RSS subscription[edit]

Zotero includes the ability to subscribe to a journal's RSS feed, and have all (or selected) new articles added to a Zotero library. This opens up the possibility to add them all to Wikidata on a regular basis, as described above.


Zotero users may place {{User Zotero}} on their user pages.

See also[edit]