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We’re in the process of updating the documentation for Zotero 5.0. Some documentation may be outdated in the meantime. Thanks for your understanding.

Using Zotero to create COinS so you can embed metadata in your website

Introduction

At times users wish to make references they have collated available to others when they visit their website or blog. This can be done by incorporating special code, called COinS, in your webpage. When COinS are detected by Zotero a book, chapter, article or collection icon appears in the address bar of the browser. Just as normal, users can click on the icon to capture the reference data and place it in their reference library.

What are COinS?

COinS is an abbreviation for “ContextObjects in Spans”. Spans in this context refers to the html tag <span></span>, and is the means by which your reference data can be inserted into a webpage without it being rendered as text (i.e. it is hidden).

Although the format of COinS is relatively simple, their creation is problematic as it is necessary to convert certain characters to URL format. For example a blank character or space needs to be represented by '%20'. This makes reading and editing COinS difficult, although not impossible, for website developers.

How to create COinS

Zotero provides a simple means of creating COinS from the references in your library.

First, you need to set your 'Quick Copy' preferences. This is done by opening your Zotero Preference dialog using the menu option - 'Actions > Preferences…' then selecting the 'Export' tag (#1) and changing the 'Default Output Format' to COinS (#2). Close the dialog to return to your library.

Once you are back in your library select a reference or a collection of references and drag-and-drop them into a receptive application (e.g. text editor). The references are converted and inserted as a COinS object.

For example, below I have selected three references from my main library (#1). Then using the mouse, clicked on the selection and without releasing the button dragged the selection (#2) to gEdit, a text editor used in Ubuntu. Alternatively you can use Ctrl-Shift-C (Windows/Linux) or Cmd-Shift-C (Mac) to copy and Ctrl-V(Mac: Cmd-V to paste in a document.

The resulting output in gEdit is shown below. You can see what I mean about being difficult to read.


<span class='Z3988' title='url_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fzotero.org%3A2&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.genre=article&amp;rft.atitle=Thelymitra%20epipactoides%20F.%20Muell.%20(Orchidaceae)%3A%20The%20morphology%2C%20biology%20and%20conservation%20of%20an%20endangered%20species&amp;rft.jtitle=Proceedings%20of%20the%20Royal%20Society%20of%20Victoria&amp;rft.volume=101&amp;rft.aufirst=S.%20C.&amp;rft.aulast=Cropper&amp;rft.au=S.%20C.%20Cropper&amp;rft.au=D.%20M.%20Calder&amp;rft.au=D.%20Tonkinson&amp;rft.date=1989&amp;rft.pages=89-101&amp;rft.spage=89&amp;rft.epage=101'></span> <span class='Z3988' title='url_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fzotero.org%3A2&amp;rft_id=urn%3Aisbn%3A0%207306%202243%206&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Abook&amp;rft.genre=book&amp;rft.btitle=A%20census%20of%20Victorian%20bryophytes&amp;rft.place=East%20Melbourne&amp;rft.publisher=The%20Department%20of%20Conservation%20and%20Environment&amp;rft.aufirst=S.%20C.&amp;rft.aulast=Cropper&amp;rft.au=S.%20C.%20Cropper&amp;rft.au=D.%20A.%20Tonkinson&amp;rft.au=G.%20A.%20M.%20Scott&amp;rft.date=1991&amp;rft.tpages=56&amp;rft.isbn=0%207306%202243%206'></span> <span class='Z3988' title='url_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fzotero.org%3A2&amp;rft_id=urn%3Aisbn%3A0%20643%2005533%209&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Abook&amp;rft.genre=book&amp;rft.btitle=Management%20of%20endangered%20plants&amp;rft.place=East%20Melbourne&amp;rft.publisher=CSIRO%20Publishing&amp;rft.aufirst=S.%20C.&amp;rft.aulast=Cropper&amp;rft.au=S.%20C.%20Cropper&amp;rft.date=1993&amp;rft.tpages=182&amp;rft.isbn=0%20643%2005533%209'></span>


Here is a formatted version, with some syntax highlighting, that you can more easily review. Note however, even with syntax highlighting the title attribute is just one continuous text string.

<span class='Z3988' title='url_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fzotero.org%3A2&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.genre=article&amp;rft.atitle=Thelymitra%20epipactoides%20F.%20Muell.%20(Orchidaceae)%3A%20The%20morphology%2C%20biology%20and%20conservation%20of%20an%20endangered%20species&amp;rft.jtitle=Proceedings%20of%20the%20Royal%20Society%20of%20Victoria&amp;rft.volume=101&amp;rft.aufirst=S.%20C.&amp;rft.aulast=Cropper&amp;rft.au=S.%20C.%20Cropper&amp;rft.au=D.%20M.%20Calder&amp;rft.au=D.%20Tonkinson&amp;rft.date=1989&amp;rft.pages=89-101&amp;rft.spage=89&amp;rft.epage=101'></span>
<span class='Z3988' title='url_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fzotero.org%3A2&amp;rft_id=urn%3Aisbn%3A0%207306%202243%206&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Abook&amp;rft.genre=book&amp;rft.btitle=A%20census%20of%20Victorian%20bryophytes&amp;rft.place=East%20Melbourne&amp;rft.publisher=The%20Department%20of%20Conservation%20and%20Environment&amp;rft.aufirst=S.%20C.&amp;rft.aulast=Cropper&amp;rft.au=S.%20C.%20Cropper&amp;rft.au=D.%20A.%20Tonkinson&amp;rft.au=G.%20A.%20M.%20Scott&amp;rft.date=1991&amp;rft.tpages=56&amp;rft.isbn=0%207306%202243%206'></span>
<span class='Z3988' title='url_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fzotero.org%3A2&amp;rft_id=urn%3Aisbn%3A0%20643%2005533%209&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Abook&amp;rft.genre=book&amp;rft.btitle=Management%20of%20endangered%20plants&amp;rft.place=East%20Melbourne&amp;rft.publisher=CSIRO%20Publishing&amp;rft.aufirst=S.%20C.&amp;rft.aulast=Cropper&amp;rft.au=S.%20C.%20Cropper&amp;rft.date=1993&amp;rft.tpages=182&amp;rft.isbn=0%20643%2005533%209'></span>

The references copied are shown below. The COinS for these references have been inserted in the html of this webpage and should appear as a collection in the address bar of your browser (see image below and your browser's address bar).

Cropper, S.C., Calder, D.M. & Tonkinson, D. (1989) Thelymitra epipactoides F. Muell. (Orchidaceae): The morphology, biology and conservation of an endangered species. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 101: 89-101.

Cropper, S.C., Tonkinson, D.A. & Scott, G.A.M. (1991) “A census of Victorian bryophytes” (The Department of Conservation and Environment; East Melbourne).

Cropper, S.C. (1993) “Management of endangered plants” (CSIRO Publishing; East Melbourne).

dev/exposing_metadata/coins.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/12 19:53 (external edit)