ZotNet is a tool that enables Zotero users to create network maps of the Related items in their library. Social network analysis allows you to explore relationships and connections within data. The network consists of nodes and connections between nodes. With ZotNet, the nodes are references, and you can create any type of link you want with the Related feature.

Read more about relating items in Zotero here. However, within Zotero it is difficult to view relations across multiple items or to understand the overall nature of relationships. ZotNet allows you to see the relationships in a network map and to calculate some basic statistics. Researchers have used network analysis for a number of applications. For example, visualizing connections between co-authors or citations between journals.

ZotNet scans your library and creates a .vna file that can be opened in NetDraw, a free program. You can download NetDraw from this page.

Zotero can only indicate what is known as reciprocal ties. This means that if A is connected to B, then B is also connected to A. You can edit the file ZotNet creates for NetDraw to make these relations more meaningful. For example, you can relate references to their source article in Zotero, then in NetDraw edit the tie so that the references all point to the source article.

For more information on visualizing references, see this link. For more about different types of analysis in NetDraw, see this link.

Currently, ZotNet cannot produce other formats, like Pajek or DL, but you can easily edit the .vna file to convert it to Pajek or DL by opening the file in a text editor and changing the Zotero keys to numbers. Example Network Map

How to Use ZotNet

ZotNet was created by Christy M. Byrd. For questions or comments, email [email protected]. Thanks to Conundrum Escapes for hosting this site.

Visualize Your Library

Enter your user or group name and collection and API keys (if applicable) below.

Want to see how it works? Test ZotNet by selecting "Group" in the dropbox below and enter the ID 297993. The test group is a public library that has 15 items in it.


Collection key (optional):

API key: (not required for public library)

File Format: