I am writing a paper on Overleaf (v1) and connected it to my Zotero account to keep my references up to date. I am using a journal template, so my BibTeX entries have the journal names as \mnras for the MNRAS journal, for example, and the template fills out the correct name.

When I use Zotero from Overleaf, or when I export my Zotero library as a .bib file, the \ gets turned into $\backslash$. So, the journal entry \mnras turns into $\backslash$mnras, which does not compile.

I can edit the .bib file on my computer, but Overleaf does not let me manually make changes to my bibliography file, since it's linked to my Zotero library.

Is there any way to override this change, other than manually editing my .bib file, or every single Zotero entry? I don't mind that much when working offline, but I like the versatility of having Overleaf linked to my Zotero library.

I am also using Better BibTeX for Zotero, which allows for customized exports, but like I said I'm more concerned about the Overleaf case.

  • At least with Better BibTeX you can type in something like <pre>\mnras</pre> to avoid the conversion of the backslash.
    – moewe
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 14:43
  • 1
    That won't work with Zotero plain unfortunately. Since Zotero isn't designed as a bibtex frontend primarily, it doesn't expect bibtex input in its field -- i.e. it expects a backslash to be an actual backslash and since Overleaf is taking information via the API, you can't change this locally or rely on Better BibTeX (BBT) functionality. I don't think there is a way to do this with direct Zotero integration into Overleaf (I believe you can use some github based version of integration that lets you use BBT output).
    – adam.smith
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 14:50
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    Again with Better BibTeX you can also add the tag #LaTeX to automatically wrap all fields in <pre>...</pre>, see retorque.re/zotero-better-bibtex/advanced
    – moewe
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 14:50
  • @adam.smith thank you. Seems like I will just have to stick to uploading my .bib file to Overleaf then! Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 15:04
  • @moewe thank you. It looks like I'll have to do that and manually upload my library to Overleaf. Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


You can actually have BBT push the Bib(La)TeX it generates to Overleaf: https://retorque.re/zotero-better-bibtex/push-and-pull/#git-support . For Overleaf V2 you will for the time being have to go through GitHub; V1 has direct git support. Direct git support is planned for V2 but there's no published ETA for it.

  • 1
    Instead of git, you can use the Dropbox sync from Overleaf to get BBT-generated bibtex into Overleaf.
    – retorquere
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 15:00

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