Zotero references script (and app)

This project aims to create a flexible, minimalistic interface that enables retrieving reference collections from Zotero and pasting them into a docx file.

What is a ‘reference collection’?

A reference collection is a collection of project references stored as Zotero items of the type ‘document’. The idea is to enable building reference lists with descriptions and other important project informations automatically, e.g. for project applications. It’s a very specific use case, but it can be adapted to fit your individual needs. The config file (see below) yields some options and could be expanded. It’s supposed to be distributed to (non-technical) colleagues for easy everyday usage.

File requirements

zot_ref_export requires two JSON files, config.json and locale.json. The former holds information on multiple things, e.g. the library id and the key required to access it (create one in your Zotero account), as well as fields that contain the items to retrieve and their output positions etc. If the file is not found, an incomplete template will be created.
Locale holds the messages that are displayed, as well as language-specific field descriptions. Currently, there is no mechanism to build it if it is missing, though this could be easily implemented.

Building with PyInstaller

There is a spec that specifies the JSON files as datas. It is not otherwise modified.
Run pyinstaller --clean --noconfirm zot_ref_export.spec to build. If the file is missing, run PyInstaller on the script and specify the files as options pyinstaller --add-data="config.json;." --add-data="locale.json;." zot_ref_export.py


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