Zotero Item Types and Fields
This page provides general descriptions of Zotero item types and fields. It can be helpful when entering item data into Zotero manually. The page also provides guidance on ways to store information for unusual item types.
Item types in Zotero should be regarded as flexible, broad categories. Item types are generally determined based on how items should be cited. See descriptions of Zotero’s item types below. If you are citing an unusual item type that does not perfectly fit one of the supported categories, choose an item type that is reasonably close with an adequate selection of fields (e.g.,
Manuscript can be made to fit most unusual item types well).
You can store more specific information about the type of item (e.g., a novel versus a biography book) in the Type, Format, or Extra fields or using tags.
|A piece of artwork (e.g., an oil painting, photograph, or sculpture). Also use this item type for other types of images or visual items (e.g., scientific figures).
|Any form of audio recording, including music, spoken word, sound effects, archival recordings, or audio-based scientific figures.
|A proposed piece of legislation.
| An article or entry posted to a personal blog website. For online articles published as part of a larger online publication (e.g., NYT Blogs), using
Magazine Article or
Newspaper Article generally yields better results.
| A book or similar published item. For government documents, technical reports, manuals, etc., use
Report instead. This item type can also be adapted to fit many types of unusual items.
|A section of a book. Usually chapters, but also forewords, prefaces, introductions, appendices, afterwords, comments, etc.
|A legal case, either published or unpublished.
| A paper presented at a conference and subsequently published in a formal conference proceedings publication (e.g., as a book, report, or issue of a journal). For conference papers that have not been published in a proceedings, use
|An entry published as part of a dictionary.
|A generic document item. This item type has a poor selection of fields and poor support in citation styles, so it should generally be avoided.
|A message sent via email. This type could also be used for other forms of personal communication.
|An article or chapter published as part of an encyclopedia.
| A film or motion picture. Generally, use this type for artistically-oriented films (including fictional, non-fictional, and documentary films). For other types of video items, use
|A post on an online discussion forum. Also use this type for items such as Facebook posts or tweets.
|A formal hearing or meeting report by a legislative body.
|A message sent via an instant message or chat service. This type could also be used for other forms of personal communication.
|An interview with a person, including recordings, transcripts, or other records of the interview.
|An article published in a scholarly journal (either print or online).
|A letter sent between persons or organizations. This type could also be used for other forms of personal communication.
|An article published in a non-scholarly, popular, or trade magazine (either print or online).
|An unpublished manuscript. Use this type for both historical documents and modern unpublished work (e.g., unpublished manuscripts, manuscripts submitted for publication, working papers that are not widely available). Can also be used for other forms of historical or archival documents. This item type can also be adapted to fit many types of unusual items.
|A map. Also use this type for geographic models.
|An article published in a newspaper (either print or online).
|A patent awarded for an invention.
|A podcast (an episode of an audio or video program distributed online, often via subscription).
| A presentation made as part of a conference, meeting, symposium, lecture, etc. This item type refers to the presentation itself, not a written version published as part of a conference proceedings (use
Conference Paper for such published versions).
| An audio broadcast, such as a radio news show, an episode of a radio entertainment series, or similar. Includes broadcasts from online radio stations and audio broadcasts archived online (cf.
|A report published by an organization, institution, government department, or similar entity. Also used for working papers and preprints distributed through institutional repositories or preprint servers. This item type can also be adapted to fit many types of unusual items.
|A piece of software, an app, or another computer program.
|A law or other piece of enacted legislation.
|A thesis submitted as part of a student applying for a degree (either published or unpublished).
|An episode of a television series.
|A video recording. Use this type for general video items that do not fit into one of the more specific video item types (e.g., Film, TV Broadcast), such as YouTube videos or video-based scientific figures.
|An online page of a website. When possible, use one of the more specific item types above (e.g., Magazine Article, Blog Post, Report).
|A standalone attachment file (e.g., a PDF, JPEG, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX, or ODT file). Standalone attachment files have limited functionality in Zotero (e.g., they cannot be properly searched or cited). Always attach files to proper Zotero items.
|A standalone note. Notes can be used for organizing and annotating in Zotero. If you cite a standalone note, Zotero will use the first 120 characters as the item title (and will treat the note as an author-less and date-less item). Citing notes is not a reliable way to add standalone commentary to a bibliography or reference list.
For additional legal and historical item types, see Legal Citations.
Fields included for various item types in Zotero are described below. Fields are organized into categories based on the kinds of items they are most typically associated with. Some fields (e.g., Volume, Series) may also be present for other types of items. Specific meanings of fields for particular item types are noted where necessary.
Fields marked with an asterisk (*) cannot be used in citations
The following fields exist across multiple item types and have the same purpose for all (or nearly all) types.
|The broad type of item. Item types are generally determined based on how items should be cited. See descriptions of Zotero’s item types above. You can store more specific information about the type of item (e.g., a novel versus a biography book) in the Type, Format, or Extra fields or using tags.
|The individuals or entities creating or associated with a work. An item can have multiple creators of numerous different kinds. See the list of creator types below.
|The principal title of an item. Should be entered in sentence case.
|Short description of the work
|Date of publication. Use “Accessed” for the date an electronic resource was accessed.
|Short form of the title, often without the subtitle. Used mostly in footnote styles for subsequent citations
| The language of publication for an item. We recommend storing these as two letter ISO language codes followed by two letter ISO country codes (e.g., en-US for American English, or de-DE for German).
The Language field is used to determine whether English Title Casing rules should be applied when formatting item titles. If the stored item data is in English (e.g., for translated titles), enter en-US or en-UK, even if the item content is in another language.
Fields for Books and Periodicals
|The title of the periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper, etc.) containing the cited item
| Book Title
|The title of the book, encyclopedia, or dictionary that a chapter, entry, or other book section is published in.
|The volume of a (typically multi-volume) publication an article or chapter is published in. For numeric volumes, enter only a number. If the volume should be cited with a volume title, include the title in this field (e.g,. “2: Organizational Psychology”).
|The issue number of a periodical. Typically, issues start at 1 at the beginning of each year/volume. If a periodical has only a volume number and no issue number, leave this field blank.
|The page range of an item that is part of a larger publication. Also to be used for locators or article numbers in e-journals and ebooks.
|The edition of a work. Where numeric, enter as simple Arabic numeral (i.e., “2” rather than “second”).
|Name of a series that contains multiple publications or presentations (e.g., “Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics”, “Special issue on Advances in Personality Assessment”).
|The number of an item in a series.
|Title of a series of articles within one issue of a journal (e.g., a special section or “From the Cover”). “Section Title” would likely be a more appropriate label. See here for an explanation. For citation purposes, this field is currently equivalent to “Series” and is erroneously used instead of series in some item types (e.g., Audio Recording, Map).
|# of Volumes
|The number of volumes in a collective work.
|# of Pages
|The number of pages in a book.
|Section of a newspaper.
|The place of publication for an item.
|The publisher of an item.
|The abbreviated title of a journal. When using the Zotero Word or LibreOffice plugins, Zotero can automatically abbreviate titles using the MEDLINE list. Use this field to enter abbreviations using other systems or for generating bibliographies outside of a word processor.
|The International Standard Book Number of a book or other publication.
|The International Standard Serial Number of a periodical or series publication.
Fields Related to When and How Items Were Accessed
|Date an electronic resource was accessed. Typically filled automatically. You can enter “today,” “yesterday,” and “tomorrow” to quickly enter the corresponding date.
|The Digital Object Identifier of an item. For items other than journal articles, the DOI can be stored in Extra. See Citing Fields from Extra below.
|URL (web-address) where the full item was accessed. Do not use this field for links to catalog records (e.g., libraries or Google Books) or abstracts—these should be instead added as links.
|Mainly for archival resources, the archive where an item was found. Also used for repositories, such as government report databases, institutional repositories, or subject repositories.
|Loc. in Archive
|The location of an item in an archive, such as a box and folder number or other relevant location information from the finding aid. Include the subcollection/call number, box number, and folder number together in this field. For additional tips on citing archival sources in Zotero, see here.
|The catalog or database an item was imported from. This field is used, for example, in the MLA citation style. Uses of this field are broader than actual library catalogs.
| The call number of an item in a library. For citing archival sources, also include the Call Number in
Loc. in Archive (if applicable).
Fields for Reports and Theses
|The type of report (e.g., “Technical report”, “CPTO Technical Brief”) or thesis (e.g., “Doctoral dissertation”, “Ph.D. thesis”, “Master thesis”; the word 'thesis' or 'dissertation' should be included where applicable).
|The number of a report. Do not include the words “Number”, “No.”, “Nº”, “№”, or similar; these will be added automatically by the citation style.
|The institution publishing a report or the university granting the degree for a thesis.
Fields for Presentations and Performances
|The title of the conference proceedings where a conference paper was published.
| Conference Name
|The name of the conference or meeting where a conference paper or presentation was presented.
| For Presentations, the place where the meeting was held or the presentation was made. For Conference Papers (published in a conference proceedings), use this field for the place where the proceedings was published. If separate locations are needed for the publication place and the location of the conference, leave this field blank and add
Event Place and
Publisher Place fields to Extra (see Citing Fields from Extra below).
|The type or format of presentation (e.g., “Poster”, “Symposium”, “Invited address”).
Fields for Recordings and Broadcasts
|The format of an audio or video recording (e.g. “DVD,” “CD,” “MP3,” etc.).
|The running time of any type of recording. Enter with the unit (e.g., 120 mins).
|The title of a radio or TV show of which an episode is part (e.g., “This American Life” or “60 Minutes”).
|The episode number of a podcast or TV/radio broadcast.
|The network broadcasting a TV or radio show.
|The recording label distributing an audio recording in a market.
|The organization distributing a film in a market.
|The studio producing a video recording.
|The genre of film (e.g., “horror”).
Fields for Images, Artwork, and Maps
|The type of artwork or figure or the medium it was created with (e.g., “Watercolor painting”, “Wood sculpture”, “X-ray Crystallograph”, “Scatterplot”).
|The dimensions of the artwork or figure.
|The scale of a map or model.
|For maps, a description of the specific type or genre of map.
Fields for Primary Sources and Personal Communications
|For interviews, the format in which an interview was recorded (e.g., “Audio Recording”, “Video Recording”, “Transcript”).
|For letters, a description of the specific type or purpose of letter (e.g., “Private correspondence). For manuscripts, a description of the type or status of the manuscript (e.g., “Unpublished manuscript”, “Manuscript submitted for publication”, “Working paper”).
|The title of an email.
Fields for Websites
| Website Title
|The title of the blog or website containing a post or specific web page.
|The forum or listserv where a post was made.
|Rarely used. Describes the genre of a webpage such as “personal blog” or “intranet”.
|A description of the specific type of forum post (e.g., “Tweet” or “Facebook comment”).
Fields for Software
|The version of a computer program.
|The operating system or platform a computer program is written for.
|The organization publishing a computer program.
| The programming language a computer program is written in. Note that Computer Program uses the
Language field differently than other items.
|The copyright terms, license, or release status for an item.
|The date and time an item was added in Zotero. This field is filled automatically.
|The date and time an item was last modified in Zotero. This field is filled and updated automatically.
|Free field for storing additional information. You can also store additional variables not included in an item’s fields that can be used when making citations and bibliographies . See Citing Fields from Extra below.
Fields for Legal Items
For additional and more flexible support for citing legal materials, see Legal Citations.
Legislation and hearings
|Name of Act
|The full title of a statute.
|The identification number assigned to a proposed piece of legislation.
|The name of the code in which a bill or statute is published.
|The volume number of the code containing a bill or statute.
|The identification number assigned to a piece of legislation in the code in which it is published.
|Public Law Number
|The identification number assigned to an enacted piece of legislation. See here for more details.
|The date a statute was enacted.
|The section of a bill or statute being cited.
|The committee holding a hearing.
|The document identification number assigned to a published transcript or record of a committee hearing.
|The pages in the code volume containing a bill or statute.
|The legislative body (parliament, senate, etc.) debating a bill, holding a hearing, or passing legislation.
|The session of a legislative body in which a bill was introduced, statute was passed, or hearing was held.
|Resources related to the procedural history of a bill or statute.
|Resources related to the procedural history of a legal case.
|The title of a legal case.
|The court where a legal case was argued.
|The date a legal case was decided.
|The docket number assigned to a to-be-heard legal case.
|The reporter in which a legal case is published.
|The volume number of the reporter in which a legal case is published.
|The first page of the reporter volume on which a case appears.
|The country issuing a patent.
|The entity to which a ownership rights for a patent are assigned.
|The authority or office reviewing the application and issuing the patent.
|The identification number assigned to a patent.
|The date on which a patent application was filed.
|The date on which a patent is formally issued.
|The identification number assigned to a patent application.
|The international application number of a patent used for priority rights claims.
|Resources related to the history of a patent.
|The legal status of a patent or application.
Creator types marked with an asterisk (*) cannot be used in citations.
| The principal author or creator of a work. Enter authors (and other creators) in the order that they should be cited.
Enter names of persons in two-field (Last/Family, First/Given) mode. Enter names of institutions or organizations in one-field mode.
| The editor of an item or the broader publication an item is part of (e.g., book, journal). If a distinction is drawn between the textual editor and the managing editor/publishing editor/editorial director (Directeur de la Publication in French), use
editor for the textual editor and enter
Editorial Director in Extra. See Citing Fields from Extra below.
|The overseeing editor of a series of items.
|The translator of an item. If the same person is both the editor and translator of a work, enter their name as both an Editor and a Translator in separate fields.
| Other individuals or entities associated with a work that should not be included in citations (e.g., individuals listed after “with” on a book's cover). Used as the
author for Hearing items.
|The name of the author whose work is being reviewed.
| The creator of a piece of artwork or a figure. The
author for Artwork items.
| The individual performing on an audio recording. The
author for Audio Recording items.
|The composer of the music on an audio recording.
|The individual who wrote the words in an audio recording (e.g., the lyricist or speechwriter).
|A member of the cast of a broadcast or performance.
| The director of a broadcast or recording. The
author for Film Recording, Video Recording, Radio Broadcast, and TV Broadcast items.
|A producer for a film, recording, or broadcast.
|The person writing the script for a film or broadcast.
| The host of a podcast. The
author for Podcast items.
|A guest on a podcast, radio broadcast, or TV broadcast.
| The principal creator of a map. The
author for Map item.
| The programmer for a computer program. The
author for Computer Program items.
| The person giving a presentation. The
author for Presentation items.
| The person being interviewed. The
author for Interview items.
|The person asking questions during an interview.
|An individual commenting on a blog post.
|The person receiving a letter, email, or message.
| The principal author of a bill or piece of legislation. The
author for Bill and Legislation items.
|Cosponsors or endorsers of a bill or piece of legislation.
|The counsel arguing a legal case.
| The creator of an invention. The
author for Patent items.
|The attorney or agent representing an inventor when filing a patent.
Role Labels for Media Creators
For citations to films, recordings, and broadcasts, Zotero currently has limited to support for labeling producers, scriptwriters, and some other Creator roles.
To label directors, leave the main Zotero field blank (or enter the names as Contributor) and enter the director names using
Director in Extra. See Citing Fields from Extra below.
All Creator roles (Director, Producer, Scriptwriter, etc.) can also be labelled by entering the names using the default
author role for the item (Performer for Audio Recording, Podcaster for Podcast, and Director for Film, Radio Broadcast, TV Broadcast, and Video Recording) and adding the appropriate labels in parentheses after the authors' first names or last names as appropriate for your citation style—e.g., MacNaughton || Ian (Producer) for APA style. Note that the labels will be rendered verbatim in citations; enter abbreviated terms (e.g., “Prod.”) here as needed.
If the style uses initials for author first/given names, rather than full names (e.g., APA style), if the label contains multiple words (e.g., “Executive Producer” or “Writer & Director”), Zotero will abbreviate the words of the label after the first. To avoid this, type a “Word Joiner” character (Unicode U+2060, printed here between quotes: “”) on either side of each space in the label.
See also Media Creator Roles
Additional Item Types and Fields
Citeable Item Types not Included in Zotero
These item types are not yet formally supported in Zotero. For citation purposes, you can convert an item of a different type to one of these types by entering them in the Extra field in the following format:
Type: CSL Type
|A raw dataset.
|A figure included in a scientific or academic work.
|The written score for a musical work.
|An informally-published work. Typically smaller and less technical than a Report.
|A review of a book. Enter these as Journal, Magazine, or Newspaper Article, depending on where they were published, by providing a “Reviewed Author” creator.
|A legal treaty between two nations.
Citeable Fields not Included in Zotero
These item fields are not yet formally supported in Zotero. For citation purposes, you can convert an item of a different type to one of these types by entering them in the Extra field in this format:
CSL Variable: Value
PMID: 123456 Status: in press Original Date: 1886-04-01 Director: Kubrick || Stanley
|The PubMed identifier.
|The PubMed Central identifier.
|The publication status of an item (e.g., “forthcoming”, “in press”, “advance online publication”).
|The date an item was submitted for publication.
|The title of a reviewed work.
|The number of the chapter within a book.
|The geographic location of an archive.
|The date an event took place. Enter in ISO format (year-month-day).
|The geographic location of an event.
|The original date an item was published. Enter in ISO format (year-month-day).
|The original title of a work (e.g., the untranslated title).
|The publisher of the original version of an item (e.g., the untranslated version).
|Original Publisher Place
Original Publisher Place
|The geographic location of the publisher of the original version of an item (e.g., the untranslated version).
|A type of Creator. The original creator of a work.
| A type of Creator. The director of a film, recording, or broadcast. In Zotero, “Director” is mapped to CSL author. If you need special labels for directors—“(Dir.)”, enter the
Director label in Extra.
|A type of Creator. The managing editor of a publication (“Directeur de la Publication” in French).
|A type of Creator. The illustrator of a work.
Citing Fields from Extra
If a Zotero item type is missing fields that are needed for citations, it is possible to add these fields to the Extra field.
Enter each variable on a separate line at the top of the Extra field in the following format:
CSL Variable: Value
DOI: 10.1128/AEM.02591-07 Original Date: 1824 PMCID: PMC3531190
With the exception of Item Type (CSL
Type) and Date variables (CSL
Issued, etc.), variables entered in Extra will not override corresponding values entered in proper Zotero fields.
Dates entered in Extra will override the date entered in Zotero's Date field. Dates must be entered in ISO format (year-month-day). Date ranges can be entered in this format:
For Creator variables, separate two-field names entered in Extra with two vertical bar characters ('||'), like this:
Editorial Director: De Gaulle || Charles