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Zotero for Group Work: File Sharing for Groups

This guide is designed for research groups that want to share citations and files through Zotero.

Setting Up File Sharing in Your Zotero Group

To allow for file sharing, the group owner or admins must configure the group on the site.  Once you are on the site, log in and then click on "Groups" in the main menu.  Find your group and edit the settings on the following tabs.

Group Settings

The type of group you create will determine whether or not you can share documents and attachments via Zotero.  To use this feature, your group must be designated as either "Private" or "Public, Closed Membership".  Documents cannot be shared in "Public, Open Membership" groups. 

Library Settings

In order to share files, you must set the "File Editing" settings either to "Any group member" or "Only group admins".

File Sharing Considerations

Copyright of Published Materials

If you are sharing PDFs of published materials from any of the electronic journals or electronic books provided by the UCSB Library, please ensure that all group members are affiliated with UCSB.  Sharing these resources with others outside the University will likely be a violation of our license agreements and copyright law, unless they are designated as "open access".

File Storage

The storage requirements for attachments counts against the overall Zotero storage allotment for the group owner.  For this reason, you might want to either create a Zotero account for your group, or you might want to store the files in the cloud and link to them from the Zotero records. 

Cloud Storage

If you decide to store attachments in the cloud, make sure that you are using a Google folder or other file-sharing site that is accessible to all members of your group.  If you use a cloud folder for storage, attach the PDFs to the Zotero records using the "Attach link to URL" option instead of the "Attach stored copy of file".  Use the URL for the file in your cloud storage folder.


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