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Using Zotero for Citation Management and Research Organization

Using Zotero to collect, organize, and share citations

Getting Started


Looking for a robust research management tool?  Zotero is a free, open source software for collecting, organizing, citing, and collaborating.  Whether you're on a web page or in a research database, Zotero recognizes citeable information, and keeps your citations and research synched across devices. You can use it to organize your research, and, paired with your favorite productivity software, generate bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations.

Basics for getting started:

  1. Download and install both the application and the browser connector.
  2. Open the application on your computer and use your web browser to search a library database or the web for an article.
  3. Click on the Zotero icon in your browser toolbar to add the citation for that article or page.  The icon will look different depending on your browser and the type of source you are saving.
  4. When writing a paper using Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice, you will have options to insert citations and format your bibliography.


Need to quickly generate a properly formatted citation, bibliography, or list of references, on-the-fly?  Try zoterobib.

Additing Items to Zotero

Adding Items

Add any kind of source or research material to Zotero by capturing it from the web, importing it, manually adding it.  You can add books, articles, media, images, websites, anything with metadata.  The Zotero documentation provides detailed instructions.

Organizing Items in Zotero

Organizing Items in Zotero

As you add items to Zotero, it creates your "library" of items.  These items can be organized into collection folders that you create.  You can add tags to items, and your entire library of items is searchable.

Citing and Bibliographies

Citing Sources and Creating Bibliographies

Using Zotero, you can generate a formatted bibliography of any items in your Zotero library, or you can insert in-text citations, footnotes, and reference lists into your paper while you are writing it.