Zotero & Wikipedia: Perfect Together

We are pleased to announce that Zotero users can now automatically grab references mentioned in Wikipedia using the popular online encyclopedia’s native citation format. The release of Zotero 1.0 Beta 4 also includes Wikipedia Citation Templates as a new export format to add references into Wikipedia. To easily copy and paste formatted citations into Wikipedia, you can use the new “Quick Copy” feature: first, specify Wikipedia as the output style by clicking the gear icon above the left pane of your Zotero window, choosing “Preferences,” and selecting “Wikipedia Citation Templates” from the pull-down menu under the “Export” tab. Next select individual references or collections in your Zotero library, press the copy keystroke (default Cmd-Shift-C or Ctrl-Alt-C), and paste the contents of the clipboard into the source code of a Wikipedia article.

By incorporating print-based references in Wikipedia articles, users help to bring offline resources into new relationships with online resources. Moreover, because the Wikipedia citation templates for books and articles embed COinS tags in each bibliographic entry (see, for example, the Wikipedia article for “Amphibian“), users can not only export Zotero references into Wikipedia, they can also import Wikipedia references into Zotero. This read/write relationship promises to allow information to better circulate through various scholarly communication networks.

To demonstrate the new Wikipedia style export feature, CHNM’s Trevor Owens has added a list of references to the Wikipedia article for MIT media scholar Henry Jenkins by automatically importing the relevant bibliographic metadata from the Library of Congress online catalog into his Zotero library and exporting it as formatted citations into Wikipedia. These citations can in turn be ingested into the libraries of other Zotero users consulting the article.