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Zotero - Citation Management Software

Zotero is a Firefox addon that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's free and easy to use.

Collect Sources

Save Sources from the Web

Click on the Zotero icon to save sources from websites, databases, or library catalogs:

If there is a full-text version of the article available (usually in databases), Zotero will save the PDF as an attachment. To see files that are attached to an item in Zotero, click on the arrow next to the item:

Click on the arrow next to an item to see attached files.

All the information you need in order to cite a source is collected and displayed in the Info pane:

Zotero Info pane.

When viewing a list of sources, such as search results, the Save to Zotero icon will appear as a small folder. A popup allows you to select multiple items:

Click on the folder icon to save multiple sources to Zotero.


Save Sources Manually

Occasionally you may need to enter a source manually. Click on the New Item icon and select the type (additional types are available under More):

New item type menu.

Now add the necessary information (title, author, publisher, etc.) in the Info pane:

Manually entering info.

After entering the first author, additional ones are added by using the plus icon next to the first author's name.

Organize Sources

Create Collections

Zotero allows you to create collections within your library to organize your research. Simply click on the New Collection icon:

New collection icon.

To create a sub-collection, right-click on a collection and select New Subcollection:

Adding a new Subcollection.

This menu also provides options to rename a collection, delete the collection (items remain in library), and delete collection and items (items move to trash). Similarly, right-click on an individual item to either remove it from a collection (remains in library) or move it to the trash (deletes item).

Annotate and Tag

Notes and tags are easily added to items by using their respective tabs in the Info pane:

Notes pane.

Tags are added to items in a similar way. Search all fields, including notes and tags using the Zotero search feature:

Zotero search bar.

Attach Files

Right-click on an item to attach a file. Select Add Attachment > Attach Stored Copy of File...

Attach file.

All attached files appear nested beneath the item in the collection or library.

Share Sources

Sources are shared through group libraries. To create a group library, click on the New Group icon:

New group.

The Zotero website is launched in your web browser. Login with your Zotero username and password:

Zotero login.

Give the group library a unique name and choose the membership settings:

Create group.

After creating the group, you are asked to confirm the group settings. To invite members to the group, click on the Member Settings link:

Member Settings.

Then, click on the Send More Invitations link. People are added to the Zotero group by providing their Zotero username (if known) or through an email invitation.

Send More Invitations.

The group now appears in Zotero under Group Libraries:

Group library.

If the group library does not appear, click on the Sync with Zotero Server icon in the upper right-hand corner of the tool:

Sync with Zotero server.

Group libraries work the same way personal Zotero libraries do, but all group members will have access to items and files saved in the library.