For collecting and managing references and scientific publications I use Zotero because it has a nice browser integration. You can simply click on the Zotero icon and the reference will be automatically saved to Zotero including the full-text PDF (e.g. on IEEE Xplore), title, author, entry type (e.g. journal article, website, thesis, book), etc. You can arrange your findings using folders for different topics and even use an entry simultaneously in multiple folders without having duplicate files. After collecting references I export them in BibTeX format to use them in TeXlipse.
Although Zotero can store various file types such as text, audio, video, images and much more I prefer Evernote for organizing my notes, writing paper summaries and collecting ideas. Now we need a way to connect both worlds.
Ideally, I would select a reference in Zotero, press CMD+C to copy its absolute URI, select some text in Evernote, add a hyperlink to the URI and that's it. The result would be a link in Evernote which brings up the reference in Zotero when I click on it. Well, let's see what is possible.
Some apps support a certain URI scheme to give other applications access to their content. E.g. in Evernote you can copy the link of a note and get something like
evernote:///view/12345689/s123/.../ which can be used to create clickable hyperlinks between your notes. Zotero is also capable of creating and understanding links but it takes a custom translator-plugin to access it. First you have to distinguish between the Zotero item URI, which is in fact a web URL pointing to the reference in your Zotero online account (
http://zotero.org/users/12345/items/XXYYZZZ), and the Zotero select link that is the desired URI in the format
zotero://select/items/0_XXYYZZAA. Based on the translator-plugin by nschneid I created my own simplified version that exports only the plain URIs of the selected elements by using the shortcut CMD+Shift+C.
Now that we have the URI for accessing the reference it's time to make use of it. Evernote is a very smart program but sometimes it's too smart. When you create a link it only supports URLs that start with the common schemas such as
ssh, etc. Using a
zotero://... URI the "OK" button is simply deactivated and adding the link is not possible. To create clickable Zotero select links it is necessary to enable intelligent links (right click > replacements). This way pasted Zotero select links are automatically converted in clickable links when you hit enter!
(It is possible that the URI is not associated with Zotero and nothing happens when you click on it. What helped in my case is to create a
.html file containing a hypertext reference such as
<a href="zotero://select/items/0_XXYYZZAA">My Link</a>, open it in your browser, click on it and make sure to allow your browser to open Zotero for this specific URI schema.)
Summary / TL;DR:
- Goal: Create clickable links in Evernote pointing to Zotero entries
- Zotero: Install my customized translator-plugin (download on GitHub Gist)
- Zotero: Select entries, press CMD+Shift+C to copy the item URI
- Evernote: Right click > Enable Intelligent Links
- Evernote: Paste item URI and press enter
The connection of Evernote and Zotero is awesome for managing references, writing summaries, collecting ideas and organizing research.