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Zotero (Citation Tool): Home

This guide provides information about Zotero and its main features and functionalities.

What is a Reference Manager ? What is Zotero?

What is a reference manager software?

A reference manager software is a tool that allows:

      • Save your references to books, articles, and other sources of information
      • Organize those references into folders
      • Format bibliographies/reference list/work cited in multiple citation styles (APA, MLA …)
      • Insert in-text citations into the body of a document
      • Share references with others

What is Zotero?

  • Zotero is a free and open-source reference management software. It will allow you to add files to your citations, create notes, and highlight them as well. Free accounts are given 100MB in space, but you can upgrade for a fee if more space is required.

Useful Links and Steps to get the App ready

Main Features and Functionalities

Zotero Layout: Zotero is laid out in three columns with the toolbar on the top

Collecting and Saving Citations: 

Collecting sources automatically: Zotero provides the ability to save references from most library catalogs and databases, and even some regular web pages, with one click.
  1. Search a database or website using the browser for which you installed the connector.
  2. On the results page, you will see an icon in your web browser’s address bar. 
  3. Make sure that Zotero Standalone is running then click the icon to add a citation or web page information to your Zotero library

Saving multiple citations at once

    1. If you're on a page of search results with more than one citation on a page, you'll see a folder icon instead.
    2. Click this icon to get a list of all the items on the page.
    3. All the citations will be displayed in a pop-up box.
    4. Check the items you want to save and click Ok.
    5. A box will pop up in the bottom right corner to let you know where your items are being saved.

Organizing citations:

When you install Zotero you will see the default folder of My Library, which contains all items.

To create new folders, click the new collection icon

To create a sub folder, right click on a collection and select Sub-collection.

To import a citation or item into a folder:

  1. Make sure to select the folder / collection before saving the citation 
  2. Drag items from the My Library into a specific folder
  • A citation can be placed in more than one folder.
  • Citations added to a sub-collection does not automatically become part of the collection

Writing with Zotero and Microsoft word:

Want to insert an in-text citation?

  1. Open your word document and put the cursor where you want to insert the citation
  2. Go to Zotero toolbar in word 

Go to “Document Preferences” to choose your referencing style (e.g. APA, MLA, etc.) if you do not see your preferred style, you can add more to the list by opening Zotero> clicking Edit> Preferences> Cite> Get additional styles. You can choose from thousands of styles to install

Click the “Insert Citations” icon. There are two ways to insert in-text citations into your document:

    • Enter keyword, author, or title in Zotero search box


            Zotero will search your library for the appropriate reference. Click on the reference you want then press Enter.

        • Click the arrow next to Z and select “Classic View”
          Select a reference from your Zotero library
          and click OK to insert this citation. 

    1. Edit a citation e.g. Add a page number:
        • Click on the in-text citation, then click on the Add/Edit citation icon
        • In the red search box, click on the citation to add page numbers or to make other changes (e.g. exclude author)
        • Press the Enter key

Want to insert bibliography or reference list?

Create Bibliography
Do it once.
After inserting your in-text citations, place the cursor at the end of your document
then click the Add/Edit Bibliography icon.