Accessing Your Logos Library in Zotero

A post on Logos and Zotero library integration.

Update 3/1/2024 – The spreadsheet template referenced in this post has been updated. The new version is 1.2.0 and can be downloaded here. Updates to the instructions below are forthcoming. The most significant change is the suggestion to use the “Data > From Text/CSV” in Excel, then selecting “65001: Unicode (UTF-8)” to handle Unicode characters in the Logos export (thank you, John Duffy). Other updates include a fix to cutoff date handling, improved language mapping, and the inclusion of the “AbbreviatedTitle” field from Logos. Lastly, the URL imported to Zotero is now a functional web URL, rather than a mock URL. The final step to use Zutilo find/replace is now optional and only needs to be done if you prefer L4 links (thank you, Tommy Thunheim for testing and helping refine these).

The term “killer app” has it’s origin in the 1980’s. A PC Magazine article from 1989 memorializes how this term was once perceived. Around the time that article hit the press, I was preparing to take my first Keyboarding class and I’m old enough to remember every technological development the article discusses. It’s amusing to consider the opinions expressed by the author. In his mind “killer app” embodied ideas that were dependent on hardware advances like the PC, the hard disk, CD-ROM, and scanners. The word “internet” doesn’t appear anywhere in the magazine but the author’s mention of ISDN oddly seems to envisage today’s interconnected world.

If you consider developments in communications infrastructure and devices like smartphones, I suppose the author wasn’t too far off. Nevertheless, today I tend to think of a “killer app” as something less associated with wealth accumulation than utility and more associated with software-empowered tasks than hardware-empowered Operating Systems and software. Regarding software and utility, Logos and Zotero are two apps I find indispensable and the latter, which is freely available, is undoubtedly transforming my workflow. For me, it is a “killer app” and the prospect of bridging it with Logos is very appealing.

I was introduced to Zotero only a few months ago by my friend Adam who’s in Seminary. It’s not a new application but I’m not in academia where it seems to be most popular. As I continue to develop and refine my workflow for personal research (he also introduced me to Obsidian, another potential game-changer), accessing my Logos library in Zotero is a must. This post outlines my goals for accomplishing this, some of the challenges that exist, and how I overcome them. As always, I welcome feedback, ideas, and corrections.

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