Known Translator Issues
Zotero uses “translators” to allow you to save items from the websites you visit. When you get the “An error occurred while saving this item” message while trying to save an item, first check the list of known translator issues below. If the translator you've been using is already listed, you don't need to take any action (unless you have some programming experience and want to help fix the translator). Otherwise, try going through the steps for troubleshooting translator issues.
You can see which translator Zotero tries to use by hovering your cursor over the “Save to Zotero” icon in the address bar of your browser. The tooltip shows the translator name between parentheses.
Issues Affecting All Translators
- The Safari Connector currently requires Zotero to be open. Saving directly to the server from Safari is not possible.
- Zotero Connectors are only guaranteed to work with stable releases of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. If you're running a pre-release version of a browser and you're experiencing issues saving items, please downgrade to the current stable release.
- Compatibility with older versions of browsers is generally maintained for some time, but this is not guaranteed, and using an outdated browser is insecure. If you're experiencing issues saving items to Zotero from an outdated browser, please update to the latest stable release. For Firefox, Zotero also maintains compatibility with currently supported versions of Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release)
- When using Zotero and accessing gated resources through a proxy service (for off-campus access) Zotero is not able to download PDFs served from a different host name than the current webpage. This affects, among other sites, EBSCO, ScienceDirect, ProQuest, and SpringerLink.
Translators with Major Issues
- Currently completely broken.
- The DOI translator is a translator that scans webpages for DOIs, and collects the item metadata by using Crossref's DOI lookup service. If the DOI translator gives an error, either the translator mistook something on the webpage for a DOI, or Crossref doesn't (yet) have any item metadata available for the DOI.
- Doesn't work for items in “My Folder”.
- Only saves PDFs after manually clicking “OK” to the terms and conditions once in the session. Workaround: Manually download one PDF during each session; all subsequent ones should work fine.
- Old Baileys
- Frequently fails silently, due to an issue with google ads. Works reliably with an ad-blocker add-on enabled. See this thread for developments
- The Primo classic catalogs are currently broken. See this thread for updates.
- Google Scholar
- Google Scholar will lock you out to protect its data against automated downloads when you use its service a lot (which may be as quickly as saving three pages of results). See here for a workaround for large downloads
Translators with Minor Issues
- When downloading large amounts of articles from search results, ProQuest starts to require users to input a captcha to continue to articles. Once that point is reached, grabbing itmes from search results is no longer possible with Zotero. Individual items will continue to work.