Citations plugin or MDnotes

Hello dear community

I struggle a bit with understanding the different use case for the Obsidian citations plugin and the Zotero plugin MDnotes. It seems that most people use MDnotes and that it often is related to exporting their pdf-highlights. I don’t really need that since most of my references in Zotero are physical books, so this is the first argument for my choosing of the citations plugin.

But then again, it seems that the template for MDnotes has more fields to add. For example, I would very much like to have {{collection}} in my template, but this is only possible in MDnotes.

So an open question/discussion:
How do you think the plugins differ?
What templates do you use?

1 Like

For the citations plugin, I use the following:

Literature note title template:
{{title}} - {{authorString}} - {{year}}

Content template:

alias: {{citekey}}, @{{citekey}}

Title:: {{title}}
Authors:: [[{{authorString}}]]
Citekey:: {{citekey}}
Type:: {{entry.type}}
Publication:: {{containerTitle}}
Year:: {{year}}
File:: [Open file](<file://{{entry.files.[0]}}>)
Web:: [Open on line]({{URL}})
Zotero:: [Open Zotero]({{zoteroSelectURI}})
Annotations::  [[@{{citekey}} - Annotations]]
Zotero-note:: {{note}}
Zotero-Abstract:: {{abstract}}

tags: #source, (type), (status), (decade)

## Structure

## Keywords

## Notes
1 Like

My MDnotes template is:

aliases: ["{{yamltitle}}"]
Title: “{{yamltitle}}”

# {{yamltitle}}


### Metadata
#zotero  #literature-notes  #reference

{{collections}}, {{tags}} 

#### Links

#####  Zotero links
1 Like

I dont use any citation plugins.

I started my literature notes back when plugin options did not existed in obsidian. So I just wrote 1 article in a single MD file in the format Verma2021_anySpecialKeywordFromTitle. This way has worked well with me so I have sticking to it even today.

The other reason for why I am hesistant to use any extra plugins is portability.
I know [[wikilinks]] works well in other softwares like zettlr.

Hi there. This post is around a while, but I’m wondering how do you edit/update your MDNotes template in Zotero?

In Zotero, go to Tools → Mdnotes preferences. The last option in “Export preferences” lets you set a Template folder. Point that at whatever folder you want to use to store your templates. Within that folder, you can create custom templates; see the Mdnotes documentation for information on required file names, available/custom placeholders, etc.

Thank you for the reply. Much appreciated!

In terms of your workflow, do you have a way to automate this or do you copy/paste the MDNotes text into your Obsidian note? (I have the Citations plugin also installed)

Mostly depends on how you want to organize your workflow! I had been using a variation of Cat’s amazing workflow for a while but ended up hopping on the beta versions of Zotero, which don’t work with Zotfile and therefore don’t really work with Mdnotes.

Could you expand on what you mean by automating? For example, if you’re looking to incorporate highlights/notes from your Mdnotes files into a separate note, you can always embed/transclude the relevant blocks.

I have also skipped to using Zotero beta with the new pdf reader. The latest beta version added the possibility for you to export the highlights and annotations as md-files