Zotero Reader for Android

March 2020 update: Zotero Reader is no more, but I’ve archived this page as a historical curiosity.

Zotero Reader web

A few months back, I announced a web application that gives you access to your Zotero library from mobile devices. I’m thrilled to announce that Zotero Reader for the Web is now available for free at zoteroreader.com [dead link]. It offers the following features:

  • View, star, mark items as read in your Zotero library
  • Download PDFs, upload edited versions
  • Collections, tags, and full text search
  • Access to your public shared libraries
  • Automatically find PDFs for orphaned items

It’s available for free at zoteroreader.com – since it’s a web app, it runs in a web browser, so it works on Android phones and tablets, iPhone/iPad, as well as your desktop web browser (not IE).

Fundraising campaign

With the help of web developer and longtime buddy Philippe Vachon-Rivard, we’re simultaneously launching a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo for Zotero Reader for Android. This will be a native Android app, based on the web version. The native app will be immensely better than the (already pretty good) web version. Most exciting is background syncing, which will allow the app to seamlessly fetch your library and PDFs in advance; that way, you’ll get offline access to your papers: in the subway, on the plane, in a conference with shifty Wi-Fi.

Breaking out of the browser sandbox will also allow the app to upload your edited PDFs to Zotero without your intervention: your notes and highlights will be synced across your electronic devices. The app will also be much faster thanks to a native UI. The code for the app will be released on github.

All in all, our goal is to make it as easy to read papers on your tablet as it is to read a book on an ereader.

Our funding goal is 6,000$. That money will be going into Phil’s development time and to fund the server for about a year. It runs until June 20th.

This is an all-or-nothing funding campaign – like Kickstarter, if we don’t reach the funding goal by the end date, you get refunded. That means you have nothing to lose – you will only get debited if the campaign is succesful and we can go ahead with development. The final app will be free – every dollar you contribute will help you and your fellow scientist keep up with the scientific literature.

If you’re broke, you can still contribute! Just tweet about the campaign or link to it on your blog or Facebook.

7 responses to “Zotero Reader for Android”

  1. I second the previous posts. Unfortunately, there is still no working solution for syncing Zotero PDFs to Android tablets, read them there, add annotations and have everything synced back to the Zotero library (e.g. on WebDAV) without manual interference.

  2. Hi Patrick,

    I too am starting life as a grad student, and this is exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately, it looks like the campaign has now ended. If you restart it around the beginning of Sept, you may get a better response since that’s when school starts!

    I will post a link to the campaign on my school’s mailing list if you do.

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