Zotero is designed to save references to articles, books, websites, and other materials as you browse, search, and read on the web. The Zotero Connectors for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari have functionality that prompt you to save references as you browse.
Have a book or article in front of you and want to add it to your Zotero library without having to search for a citation?
Use the "Add Item by Identifier" feature.
If you have a book's ISBN, an online article's DOI or PMID number, just click the magic wand button: "Add item by identifier." Type in the book or article's number, and Zotero will automatically download its information and save it to your library.
To archive a web page, click the “Create New Item from Current Page” icon (). This will create a web page item in your library with basic information from the page.
If “Automatically take snapshots when creating items from web pages” is enabled in the General pane of the Zotero preferences, a copy of the web page will be added as a child item. To see the page as it was on the day you captured it, double-click the snapshot icon, as shown below.
More on archiving from Zotero's website.
Zotero can make files available to users in two ways: by storing a copy or by linking to them. Storing a copy will add that file to the Zotero data directory, separate from the original file. Linking will simply refer to the original file without creating a copy or changing its location. Stored files will be included with any file sync, while linked files will remain only links. Any type of file can be added to the Zotero library, either on its own or associated with another item.
More on files from Zotero.
Because books typically have barcodes printed on them and ISBNs listed in frontmatter, Zotero provides a number of ways for importing references to books that you either have in hand or are discovering via online catalogs.
If you have the book in hand:
You can use an iPhone or iPad running iOS 12 to save a book to Zotero just by scanning its barcode.
See "Adding Items by Identifier," above. Using Zotero Standalone, you can select "Add Item by Identifier" and key in the book's ISBN. Zotero will match the number you have entered against the Library of Congress and WorldCat for ISBNs, and import the relevant citation.
If you are searching a library catalog using a Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser and have the Zotero Connector installed, you can save a book from your search results by clicking the Zotero save button, which will display a book icon.