Zotero

What is Zotero?

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a citation management tool that helps you:

  • Store, organize, and share your references
  • Automatically format citations in Microsoft Word
  • Save citations and references from SuperSearch, Google Scholar, and the web.
  • Make notes, create tags, and highlight important information.

Who should use Zotero?

We recommend Zotero for students who are undertaking research projects that require 15 or more resources.

If you’re uncomfortable with technology, we recommend that you use a different tool. Learning to use Zotero efficiently takes time and persistence. If you have questions about whether Zotero is right for you, please contact us.

Alternatives to Zotero

Excel or Google Spreadsheet

Use a literature review matrix to keep track of your references.

Piles and Color Coding

Print our your resources and organize them into piles by topic. Make a list of subtopics you want to cover in your paper and assign each subtopic a color. When you come across subtopics in your resources, apply your color coding scheme using colored tabs or highlighters. This will allow you to visually identify themes and connections in your selected resources.

Set Up Zotero

Before you get started with Zotero, you will need to:

  • Install Zotero
  • Create Your Zotero Account
  • Sync Zotero
  • Install Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Add-in

1. Install Zotero

  1. Go to Zotero
  2. Select Download
  3. Select Install Chrome/Firefox Connector
    Note:You may need to disable your pop-up blocker or temporarily allow pop-ups to install the Zotero software.

2. Create Account

After you install Zotero, you will need to create a Zotero account, which will enable you to save, store, and organize your resources.

3. Sync Zotero

Sync your account to access your saved resources.

Windows
  1. Open Zotero.
  2. Open the Edit drop-down menu.
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Select the Sync tab.
  5. Enter your Zotero ID and password.
  6. Select Set Up Syncing.
  7. Select OK.
  8. Select the green Sync button to save your work and access it from another computer.

See steps 1-3 | See steps 4-8

Mac
  1. Open Zotero.
  2. Select the Zotero drop-down menu.
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Select the Sync tab.
  5. Select Set Up Syncing.
  6. Select the green Sync button to save your work and access it from another computer.

See steps 1-3 | See steps 4-6

4. Install Microsoft Word Add-in

You can automatically create in-text citations and reference lists as you write by installing the Microsoft Word Add-in.

Windows
  1. Open Zotero.
  2. Open the Edit drop-down menu.
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Select the Cite tab.
  5. Select Word Processors.
  6. Select Install Microsoft Word Add-in.

See example

Mac
  1. Open Zotero.
  2. Select the Zotero drop-down menu.
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Select the Cite tab.
  5. Select Word Processors.
  6. Select Install Microsoft Word Add-in.

See example

Learn More

Visit the Zotero website for more information on using Zotero with word processor add-ins.

Save Resources

You can build your Zotero library in a variety of ways, which include:

  1. Automatically save resources from:
    • SuperSearch
    • Google Scholar and other databases
    • Amazon
    • Websites
  2. Manually save resources by:
    • Create a new item
    • Attach a PDF to an existing reference
    • Import PDFs from your computer

SuperSearch

Single Article

Save an article from SuperSearch to your Zotero library.

  1. Conduct a search in SuperSearch.
  2. Select the article title.
  3. Select the Save to Zotero document icon.

The article is now saved in your Zotero library.

See example

Multiple Articles

Save multiple articles from a search in SuperSearch to your Zotero library.

  1. Conduct a search in SuperSearch.
  2. Select the Save to Zotero folder icon.
  3. Select the article titles you wish to save in the dialog box.
  4. Select OK.

The articles are now saved in your Zotero library.

See example

Google Scholar and Other Academic Databases

Single Article

Save an article from Google Scholar or another database to your Zotero library.

  1. Conduct a search in Google Scholar or another academic database.
  2. Select the article title.
  3. Select the Save to Zotero document icon.

The article is now saved in your Zotero library.

See example

Multiple Articles

Save multiple articles from Google Scholar or another database to your Zotero library.

  1. Conduct a search in Google Scholar or another academic database.
  2. Select the Save to Zotero folder icon.
  3. Select the article titles you wish to save in the dialog box.
  4. Select OK.

The articles are now saved in your Zotero library.

See example

Books

Save books and DVDs from Amazon to your Zotero library.

  1. Search Amazon for the book or DVD title.
  2. Select the title.
  3. Select the Save to Zotero book icon.

The book or DVD is now saved in your Zotero library.

See example

Websites

Save websites to your Zotero library. Zotero will save a snapshot of the website content.

  1. Navigate to the website.
  2. Select the Save to Zotero icon.

See example

Create a New Item

Manually add an item to your Zotero library.

  1. Select the New Item icon from the Zotero toolbar.
  2. Select resource type (e.g., Book, Journal Article, Newspaper article, etc.)
  3. Enter information about the resource into the blank fields.

See example

Attach a PDF to a Reference

Attach a PDF to an existing reference in your Zotero library.

  1. Download or save the PDF to your computer.
  2. Highlight the title of the resource in Zotero.
  3. Select the Attach button.
  4. Select Attach Stored Copy of File.
  5. Find the article on your computer.
  6. Select Open.

The PDF is now attached to the resource.

See steps 1-4 | See steps 5-6

Add PDFs to Zotero

If you have a large number of PDFs stored on your computer, Zotero can automatically retrieve the bibliograhic data.

  1. Drag and drop one or more articles to a folder in Zotero.
  2. Right click on the PDF in your Zotero library.
  3. Select Retrieve Metadata for PDF.

See example

Organize Resources

Organize your Zotero library using folders, tags, notes, and related items.

Folders

Organize your resources quickly and easily into folders.

  1. Select the New Collection icon.
  2. Title your new collection.
  3. Select OK.
  4. Drag and drop items from your library into the folder.

See example

Notes

Create multiple notes for each resource.

  1. Highlight the resource.
  2. Select the Notes tab.
  3. Select the Add button.

See example

Tags

When you add items from a database like SuperSearch, Zotero automatically collects all of the subjects from the index and adds them as tags. Easily add your own tags to resources.

  1. Highlight the resource.
  2. Select the Tags tab.
  3. Select the Add button.

See example

Related

Create links between your resources using the Related feature.

  1. Highlight the resource.
  2. Select the Related .
  3. Select the Add button.
  4. Select the resouce you want to link to.
  5. Select OK.

See example

Cite in Microsoft Word

Zotero links with Microsoft Word to create in-text citations and bibliographies automatically in your papers from your Zotero library. To install the Microsoft Word Plugin for Zotero, please see Install Word or OpenOffice Plugin.

Windows

Select your Citation Style
  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Select the Zotero tab.
  3. Select Document Preferences.
  4. Select American Psychological Association 6th edition.
  5. Select OK.

See example

Add a Single Citation
  1. Select the Zotero tab.
  2. Move your cursor to where you want to insert the citation.
  3. Select Add/Edit Citation.
  4. Search for the article by typing the title, author, or keywords into the Zotero dialog box.
  5. Select the article you want to cite.
  6. Press the Enter key.

See example

Add Multiple Citations
  1. Select the Zotero tab.
  2. Move your cursor to where you want to insert the citation.
  3. Select Add/Edit Citation.
  4. Search for the article by typing the title, author, or keywords.
  5. Select the article you want to cite.
  6. Search for the second article by continuing to type the title, author, or keyword into the Zotero dialog box.
  7. Select the second article you want to cite.
  8. Press the Enter key.

See example

Add a Citation With a Page Number
  1. Select the Zotero tab.
  2. Move your cursor to where you want to insert the citation.
  3. Select Add/Edit Citation.
  4. Search for the article by typing the title, author, or keywords into the Zotero dialog box.
  5. Select the article you want to cite.
  6. Click on the citation in the Zotero dialog box.
  7. Type in the page number(s).
  8. Press the Enter key.

See example

Add a Citation Without an Author

If you use the author’s name in the text of your paper, you can modify your citation to include only the year. Example: “Smith (2016) argues…”

  1. Select the Zotero tab.
  2. Move your cursor to where you want to insert the citation.
  3. Select Add/Edit Citation.
  4. Search for the article by typing the title, author, or keywords into the Zotero dialog box.
  5. Select the article you want to cite.
  6. Click on the citation in the Zotero dialog box.
  7. Select Suppress author.
  8. Select the Enter key.
  9. Add page number (if using) in parentheses manually at the end of the sentence.

See example

Add a List of References
  1. Select the Zotero tab.
  2. Move your cursor to where you want to insert your references list.
  3. Select the Add/Edit Bibliography icon.
  4. Proofread your list of references and make changes.

See example

Mac

View the Zotero Toolbar
  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Select View.
  3. Select Toolbars.
  4. Select Zotero Bibliographic Management.

See example

Choose your Citation Style
  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Select the Set Document Preferences icon.
  3. Select American Psychological Association 6th edition.
  4. Select OK.

See steps 1-2 | See steps 3-4

Add a Single Citation
  1. Move your cursor to where you want to insert the citation.
  2. Select the Insert Citation icon.
  3. Search for the article by typing the title, author, or keywords into the Zotero dialog box.
  4. Select the article you want to cite.
  5. Press the Enter key.

See steps 1-2 | See steps 3-5

Add Multiple Citations
  1. Move your cursor to where you want to insert the citation.
  2. Select the Insert Citation icon.
  3. Search for the article by typing the title, author, or keywords. Select the article you want to cite.
  4. Search for the second article by typing the title, author, or keyword into the Zotero dialog box.
  5. Select the second article you want to cite.
  6. Press the Enter key.

See example

Add a Citation With a Page Number
  1. Move your cursor to where you want to insert the citation.
  2. Select the Insert Citation icon.
  3. Search for the article by typing the title, author, or keywords into the Zotero dialog box.
  4. Select the article you want to cite.
  5. Click on the citation in the Zotero dialog box.
  6. Type in the page number(s)
  7. Press the Enter key.

See example

Add a Citation Without an Author

If you use the author’s name in the text of your paper, you can modify your citation to include only the year. Example: “Smith (2016) argues…”

  1. Move your cursor to where you want to insert the citation.
  2. Select the Insert Citation icon.
  3. Search for the article by typing the title, author, or keywords into the Zotero dialog box.
  4. Select the article you want to cite.
  5. Click on the citation in the Zotero dialog box.
  6. Select Suppress author.
  7. Select the Enter key.
  8. Add a page number (if using) manually at the end of the sentence in parentheses.

See example

Add a List of References
  1. Move your cursor to where you want to insert your references list.
  2. Select the Insert Bibliography icon.
  3. Proofread your list of references and make changes.

See example

Read more about using the Zotero Word plugin.

Get Help

If you are struggling with Zotero, please contact us for help.

More information is located on the Zotero Website. You can view: