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Citation Management Software

A guide for tools to help manage citations and build bibliographies

What is Zotero?

Stylized image of "Zotero"

Zotero is a free citation management program that helps you collect and organize your research information.

It can help you build personal library of source information from articles, books, documents, web pages, and more.  This personal library of sources can work with your word processing tool to format a paper in your choice of style.

  • Save citations from databases, web sites, and library catalogs
  • Manage, categorize into collections, and organize
  • Cite sources "in-text" as you write and create reference lists in most styles (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, etc.)
  • Attach PDF's, images, web page snapshots, reading notes, and more to citations in your collection

Where to Use Zotero

Available on the web (with free account), or as downloadable software for Mac, Windows, and Linxu. Click here to download Zotero and the appropriate connectors for your preferred browser(s).

Includes browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Word Processor plugins for Microsoft Word on Mac and Windows, LibreOffice, and Google docs (new!).

For Google Docs, no installation is needed - a Zotero menu is already included. Use the preferences option to link to an existing Zotero account.

Screenshot of Zotero in Google Docs

A toolbar button is also included for a one-click citing option:

Screenshot of adding citation in Zotero in Google Docs

 

Tips for Getting Started with Zotero

Add References

Option 1: Enter manually

  • From the Zotero window at the bottom of your screen, click on the plus button; 'new item'
  • Select material type.
  • Enter information in the pane on the right hand side of the Zotero window

Option 2: Direct Export from your favorite database (in general)

  • Make sure the Zotero application is open
  • Conduct a search and click on the Zotero icon in your browser (it will be a book icon, a folder icon, or a paper icon)
  • Item will be saved immediately in your Zotero library. Drag the reference to the appropriate Zotero folder
  • You can also export a citation using the RIS file option if available

Write a Paper

  • In Microsoft Word or Open Office:
    • The Zotero Word Plug-In should have downloaded automatically; see here to install manually.
    • Open Zotero first and make sure you're logged into your account.
    • Open Microsoft Word or LibreOffice. The tool bar will be under 'add-ins' on a PC or 'view' 'toolbars' on a MAC
    • Place your cursor in your document where you would like the citation to be.
    • Choose the citation style then click 'ok'. A large Zotero search box will appear.
    • Search for your citation and hit the return button.
    • To insert the bibliography into the paper, click on the third icon on the tool bar: 'insert bibliography'
  • In Google Docs:
    • The first time you use Zotero in google docs, you'll need to authenticate the plugin with your Google account.
    • Make sure the Zotero app is open in your computer.
    • To add a citation, either click the Z button in the toolbar ("Add/Edit Zotero Citation") or click the Zotero menu, both of which will bring up a dialog box.
      • You may first have to select a citation style, so look out for a pop-up box from the Zotero app
    • Type part of a title, author, or year and your citations will begin to appear

 Screenshot showing citation selection in Zotero in google docs

  • To cite a particular page/pages, click on your citation choice and type the page number:

screenshot of entering page example in zotero in google docs

  • To create a bibliography/works-cited page in Google docs, first have your cursor in the place you want your page to go.
  • Then click "Add/Edit Bibliography" in the Zotero menu, which will generate a bibliography based on your Zotero citations in the document.
    • You can edit which items appear in the bibliography by clicking the “Add/Edit Bibliography” button again, which will open the bibliography editor. 

Create a Bibliography in Zotero

So easy!

  • Highlight one or more references in your Zotero library
  • Right click (or control-click on Macs) to select 'Create Bibliography from Selected Item(s).'
  • Select a citation style for your bibliography format and choose an output format.