I am trying to use the zotero and I cannot figure out an easy way to get the APA formatting for the references.


Can you give me a step by step explanation of how to do it?

Answered By: Linda Kern
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2017     Views: 292

It's difficult to know exactly where you are running into problems. The first thing I would check is the Info Box on the right side of the Zotero window.

Zotero captures the information about the article exactly as it is presented from the source. If, for example, the article title in the source is not in APA format, perhaps every word is capitalized, then it goes into Zotero that way. It's easy to change it to APA style. Click on the offending text and it will be highlighted in blue. Then type the lower case first letters as needed.

Also check the format of the authors' names to be sure you have the authors' first initials rather than the first names. Routinely check the date format as well, and delete the month if it is captured. These are the first elements to check in the Info box, but do check all of the information to be sure it is right. It's the old garbage in/garbage out theory. If incorrect information comes into Zotero and is not corrected, the elements of the entry will be in the right order, but the individual elements will not be correctly formatted. This is how incorrect capital letters, first names, etc. slip into the reference entry.

Next, check the Info Box to be sure all of the elements needed for the reference entry were captured by Zotero. If the source doesn't make the elements available, they won't make it into the Info Box or the reference entry. For the article in the pictures above, the DOI was not in the source; I had to hunt down the DOI and paste it into the Info Box. If I hadn't found the DOI, I would have pasted the URL of the home page of the journal into the URL space in the Info Box.

If the information in the Info Box is correctly formatted, then I would go to my Word document. You can set the APA citation style in your document preferences, by clicking on the Zotero Set Docs Pref button in the Add -Ins toolbar.

Once the doc is set for APA, your should be good to go.

If this doesn't address your questions, set up a My Librarian phone or in-person consultation, and we will work through it.

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