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Zotero

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

Step 1: Download Zotero

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

To get the most out of Zotero, download the (free!) desktop application and the Zotero Connector, which brings Zotero into your web browser!

Step 2: Add Content and Cite Content

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

Step 3A: Create Citations and Bibliographies

Once you have references in Zotero, you may want to use them in a bibliography. This video goes into depth on how to generate correct bibliographies and citations.

Step 3B: Using Zotero with MS Word

Zotero can integrate with Microsoft Word (as well as the free and open source word processor, Libre Office). It's a very powerful tool and can simplify your life, so check out the video for details.

Step 3C: 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: Set Up a Zotero Group

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 Zotero.com to create a group library, so be sure to do Step 4, above.