How to Write a Zotero Translator:
A Practical Beginners Guide for Humanists

By: Adam Crymble


photo of Adam CrymbleThis guide is the guide I wished was available for me when I was given the task of writing a Zotero translator for the site The project was part of an internship during my Masters of History at the University of Western Ontario. This internship, during the summer of 2008, was held at the Center for History and New Media — the home of Zotero. When I took on the project, I had no experience with computer programming; when I left, I had created over fifty site-specific translators.

This guide is the product of that brief, yet intensive learning experience. Every effort has been made to avoid errors, though inevitably some will have found their way in. My training is as a historian not as a computer scientist, so if you notice an error or find something confusing, please contact me at and I will be happy to make corrections. The advantage of an e-published guide is that it can always be updated.

The goal of this guide is to provide enough skills and direction to create a Zotero translator of your own (which I hope you will share).

Special thanks to Angela Kedgley, who kept me motivated to finish and spent far too much time correcting my grammar.