Many new Zotero users already have their journal articles stored elsewhere, usually in Dropbox. In this post, I’ll show you how to link to an external file to avoid duplicating material. This method could also help you avoid exceeding Zotero’s free storage limit.
1. Go to Dropbox.com and find the relevant file.
2. Click the Share button next to the file name.
3. Copy the link that appears and click Close.
4. Return to Zotero. Right-click on your item, click Add Attachment and choose Attach link to URI. Paste the Dropbox link into the box and click OK.
5. Now you should see that the Dropbox link is attached to your item. You can view the PDF by selecting the attachment and clicking the link on the right. If the title looks a bit messy, simply click on it and enter some more meaningful text.
And here’s my article in Dropbox:
It’s important to note that external files are not searchable within Zotero, so it won’t index the content of any PDFs that are linked rather than attached. If you run out of free space (currently 300Mb), it costs only $20pa for an additional 2Gb.
For a demonstration of how to link a Dropbox file to a Zotero item, please view my YouTube video below: