In a previous article and video, I explored importing Zotero papers into Obsidian using the Zotero integration plugin. However, with the introduction of properties in Obsidian, the front matter structure has changed. This article and accompanying video discusses these changes and their integration into an updated template, which is available for download.
What are properties?
Properties have greatly enhanced Obsidian’s functionality by formalising the front matter in a more structured manner, providing standardisation for notes that remain consistent over time. This consistency benefits aspects such as Zotero integration templates, although it relies on Zotero properties remaining unchanged as well. Such consistency allows both applications to work harmoniously.
The Zotero properties fields
Figure 1: Properties in Zotero integration template
The new template includes fields such as type, parent, child, siblings, tags specific to Obsidian, and keywords imported from Zotero. It also contains fields for aliases, publisher title, citation key from Zotero (not the academic citation key), and DOI (Digital Object Identifier) reference linking back to an article on the internet.
Regarding the created date, it is important to note that this field refers to the date the note was created in Obsidian rather than when it was added to Zotero. However, this can be changed depending on personal preference.
The process of setting up the Zotero plugin remains largely unchanged; only properties are being discussed here. For those unfamiliar with the process, it is advisable to consult the previous article and video on this subject. Additionally, ensure that citation formats and bibliography formats are correctly set up in the Zotero integration plugin and that the Better BibTex plugin is installed within Zotero itself.
Invoking the template
Figure 2: Invoking the template
With the new template in place, you can import articles from Zotero into Obsidian by invoking the control panel (Ctrl+P) and typing ‘ZOT’ or setting up a hotkey shortcut. Personally, I use Ctrl Z. Once imported, you can amend properties as needed to better organise your notes. In the image below, I have amended several of the fields to more accurately reflect the note’s value and to assist with linking.
Figure 3: Properties adjusted after import of article
The note is now prepared for annotation, although it’s currently quite sparse. The abstract and metadata are present, thanks to the new Prism theme, which was demonstrated in a recent article and video.
Figure 4: Abstract and metadata expanded in template callouts
Despite the addition of properties, the template remains unchanged. However, when importing articles into Zotero, ensure to complete as much information as possible to save time when transferring them to Obsidian. Avoid chasing DOIs or web links afterwards.
Properties enhance the Zotero integration, elevating the capabilities of these applications. Enjoy the updated template and properties. If you have comments or suggestions for improvements, I would love to hear from you.