Note: Zotero Standalone currently opens reports in a window without address bar or right-click menu, which means that several features on this page can not be used.
Reports are simple HTML pages that give an overview of the item metadata, notes, and attachments of the selected items. You can print them, post them to the web, and email them.
To create a report, right-click (ctrl-click on OS X) an item or a selection of items in the center column and select “Generate Report from Selected Item(s)…”. You can also right-click a collection in the left column and select “Generate Report from Collection”.
Reports list every item metadata field for each item. If you want to remove some of the fields, try using Jason Priem's Zotero Report Customizer (Zotero for Firefox only) or Emiliano Heyns's plugin with the same functionality (Zotero for Firefox and Standalone).
By default reports sort items alphabetically by title in ascending order. You can change the sort order by appending “?sort=” to the report's URL, followed by the item field(s) you would like to sort by. Use a comma to separate the different fields. To use a descending sort order, add “/d” after the field name. For example, a URL of a report that is first sorted by title in ascending order, and then by date in descending order looks like:
You can sort by the following fields:
When a report is generated from a collection rather than from items selected in the center column, Zotero by default uses the order in which the items are shown in the center column.
With Zotero for Firefox, reports can be saved by selecting “Save Page As…” in the File menu of Firefox, and printed by selecting File –> “Print…”. With Zotero Standalone, where reports are opened in a window without address bar or right-click menu, keyboard shortcuts can be used instead: Control + S to save (OS X: Command + S), Control + P to print (OS X: Command + P).
Uses For Reports
While you can search through the text content of notes using Zotero's basic and advanced search functions, you may find it more convenient to use reports, which include the full text of notes.
Simply generate a report of the items you want to search. Select Edit –> “Find” in Firefox and use the search box (at the bottom of your browser window) to search through the report.
Organizing Notes into Outlines
While Zotero has not been designed to be an outlining tool, you can create outlines from notes. By default, reports list child notes together with their parent items. To include child notes in your outline and separate them from their parent items, change the “extensions.zotero.report.combineChildItems” hidden preference to “false”.
Then, to build your outline, add an outline number at the beginning of each note you want to include, e.g. 1.1, 1.2, 2.1. Select the notes, right-click (control-click on OS X) the selection, and select “Generate Report from Selected Items…” from the menu.
*Note*: Because 10.0 will sort before 6.0, make sure to insert the appropriate number of zeroes (e.g., 06.0) if your outline consists of 10 or more sections.
If you are working with a large number of notes and you do not want to manually select each one, tags and advanced searches can make life easier. First tag each note with a description, such as “chapter one”. Then create an advanced search for “item type” [is] “note” and “tag” [is] “chapter one”. Now save the advanced search. Right-click on your saved search and select “Generate Report from Saved Search…”. This will create a report including only the notes tagged “chapter one”.
Reports can also be used in teaching to track and assess students during the process of collecting information and writing. Reports show when items were collected, how students associate their items with notes and tags, and how students are relating their research items, and can be a useful tool to peer into and encourage the composition process.