I've got a well organized Calibre library, but due to full text PDF search, web clipping and basic bibliography management, I decided to move to Zotero.

I can import .bib records easily, but is there a way to have them linked with corresponding PDFs?

  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about Zotero.
    – user102
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 16:28
  • You could possibly ask this at tex.stackexchange.com if it is on-topic for them
    – gman
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 16:29
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    @gman I really don't think this would be on topic at TeX. I don't see any reason it should be off topic here, given that software questions are not inherently off topic
    – ff524
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 16:34
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    @JustinasDūdėnas note that cross posting is not allowed on SE, so if you want to post this on TeX (though I wouldn't recommend it), delete it here first.
    – ff524
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 16:37
  • 4
    I think this is on topic -- it is about software that is used by many academics. Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


Discussion here suggests that you can export a Calibre catalog as BibTeX

click the arrow next to convert books and create a catalog in bibtex format. ... (you have to select at least 3 [books])

You can then import the BibTeX into Zotero. Whether that transfers PDFs, comments, and tags depends on the ability of Calibre to export that metadata (all of it is supported by BibTeX).

A thread on Zotero forums indicates that Calibre may sometimes assign "silly dates", so you may want to look over your library after import.

I have identified the origin of these silly publication dates (Jan. 1st, year 101): that's the metadata I have in my calibre database for some e-books, probably a default value assigned by calibre when a specific date isn't available in the imported document and designed to stand out when sorted in ascending or descending order.

Alternatively, if you want Zotero to try and find the metadata for your books, you can just drag and drop the PDFs into Zotero and use the Retrieve Metadata function to look up metadata. May even want to combine both approaches and merge duplicates at the end (by selecting the best metadata from both software).


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