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Zotero: Home

A guide to get started with the free and open source bibliographic manager Zotero.


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Step 1: Download Zotero (and Firefox)

Zotero is a free and open source bibliographic manager. It helps you save sources and cite them in your papers.

Zotero comes in many flavors, including a plugin for Firefox and a separate application called Zotero Standalone.

Step 2: Add Content

Now that you've downloaded and installed Zotero, it's time to start adding and organizing content. There are many ways to do this. The video below highlights the most common ways.

Step 3A: Use Your References in a Word Doc

Once you have references in Zotero, you may want to use them in a paper, probably one you're writing in Word (although Zotero also works with the free and open source word processor, Libre Office).

Step 3B: Extending Zotero's Styles (Optional)

When you download and install Zotero, it includes several of the most common citation styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago. However, it doesn't include AMA (the style of the American Medical Association) and several other less common citation styles.

In order to use Zotero to create a citations in one of these less common styles you'll need to download a small piece of software from the webpage below.

Step 4: Back It Up!

Zotero offers free backup and cloud storage for your saved items. All you have to do is create an account on their website and enable syncing through the Firefox plugin or Zotero Standalone.

Step 5: Create a Group Library

Once you are comfortable using Zotero for the basics, try using it to share articles and reference with your classmates.

You and your group members will need to have an account with to create a group library, so be sure to do Step 4, above.

Instructional Technologies Librarian | Assistant Professor

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Jennifer Poggiali
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