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Manage Your Sources: Zotero

Always Check Your Citations

Citation managers don't always format citations perfectly. Remember to check your citations for missing or inaccurate information and formatting.

How do I install Zotero?

  1. Visit the Zotero website: Zotero.
  2. Click "Download".
  3. You must install both Zotero and the Zotero Connector for the appropriate browser.
    1. Download and install Zotero for Windows by selecting "Download" and then following the instructions.
      • If working with a Mac or Linux system, select the appropriate platform under "Other platforms" to initiate download. The webpage might recognize the platform you are using and list the appropriate platform first.
      • A shortcut for Zotero is added to your desktop and Zotero runs as a separate application.
      • You may need to designate a location on your computer for your Zotero directory.
      • You may need to restart your computer to complete the installation.
      • Word processor plugins should be installed automatically for each word processor on your computer when you first start Zotero.
    2. Install the Zotero Connector for the browser(s) that you will be using Zotero with (Firefox, Chrome, and Safari). It is best to use Zotero with Firefox.
      • The Connector automatically selects the appropriate browser plugin for whichever browser you are currently using.
      • You can download a connector plugin for every browser that you want to use Zotero with.
      • The Zotero Connector allows you to add content to Zotero as you browse the web.
      • The Zotero Connector won't work if Zotero isn't open.
      • The Zotero Connector is only supported by Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, but the Zotero Bookmarklet is compatible with all browsers.

How do I create a Zotero account?

  • To store your references online, you will need to create an account.
  • Click Log In at the top of the Zotero homepage, then click Register for a free account.
  • You need
    • Username
    • Email
    • Password
  • An email will be sent to you to confirm your email address.

How do I sync with my online account?

  1. Once you have created an account, open the Zotero desktop application.
  2. Open the Sync pane of the Zotero preferences.
    • If using a Mac select Preferences... from the Zotero menu and then select the Sync tab.
    • If using Windows or Linux select Preferences under the Edit menu and then select the Sync tab.
  3. Enter your username and password in the Sync Settings section and click Set Up Syncing.
  4. A new window will open under Sync, click OK. If using a Mac, you will not be prompted to click OK.
  5. Zotero will now automatically sync your data as you make changes.
    • You can also choose to stop syncing automatically by unchecking the Sync automatically box in the Sync pane.
  6. You can also sync your account by clicking the green arrow in the top right corner. If you hover over the icon, it will inform you when the last sync occurred.

How do I import references from other citation managers?

Refer to these Zotero documents for instructions on importing references in each citation management software:

How do I add a reference from Omni (without Zotero Connector)?

  1. Go to the UoG Library homepage and type a search into the Omni box (the main search box).
  2. Locate the resource you would like to add to your library and click on the three dots to the right of the title.Y
  3. ou should see multiple options for exporting the citation. Select the option for Export RIS.
  4. Select the Encoding option UTF-8, click Download and select a folder on your computer to save the file to.
  5. Click Download. An .ris file will download to your computer.
  6. In Zotero, go to File, then Import, then specify that you are importing from a file.
  7. Navigate to the folder where you saved the .bib file and select it.
  8. Select Copy files to the Zotero storage folder.

How do I add a reference from Omni (with Zotero Connector)?

  1. Go to the UoG Library homepage and type a search into the Omni box (the main search box).
  2. Select the folder icon to the right of the web address bar. A new box will appear with a list of results from the current page.
    • Make sure the result you want to save is on the page you are viewing.
  3. Select one or more of the results by checking the box next to your desired results.
  4. Click OK.
  5. The files will save under Unfiled Items in your Zotero library.

How do I add a reference from an online database?

  1. Search for your topic in the database.
  2. To the right of the address bar, there will be a folder icon. Click on the icon and a box will appear with the titles of the resources from the first page of your results.
    • If you are using Zotero Firefox you can choose to have your library visible by clicking the Z in the upper right hand corner of your browser in order to view the folder icon.
    • Choose to select all resources or select only a few.
    • If you have selected the exact resource you want to save, the icon to the right of the address bar will change based on the type of resource. For example, if the item is a book, a book icon will appear.
  3. Then click OK.
  4. The files will save under Unfiled Items in your Zotero library.

How do I add a reference from Google Scholar?

  1. Search for your topic in the database.
  2. To the right of the address bar, there will be a folder icon. Click on the icon and a box will appear with the titles of the resources from the first page of your results. 
    • If you are using Zotero Firefox you can choose to have your library visible by clicking the Z in the upper right hand corner of your browser in order to view the folder icon.
    • Choose to select all resources or select only a few.
    • If you have selected the exact resource you want to save, the icon to the right of the address bar will change based on the type of resource. For example, if the item is a book, a book icon will appear.
  3. Then click OK.
  4. The files will save under Unfiled Items in your Zotero library.

How do I add a reference from Web of Science?

  1. Search in Web of Science Core Collection. Select the references you would like to add to your Zotero library by clicking the boxes on the left side in the Web of Science result list.
  2. At the top of the page, go to the Export... menu and choose Other File Formats.
  3. A box will open. Leave the Record Content box as Author, Title, Source, Abstract. Then select BibTeX from the File Format dropdown menu. 
  4. Click Export.
  5. A box will open. Select "Save File", then OK. The file will be saved in your computer's downloads folder and it will be called savedrecs.
  6. Double-click on the file in your downloads folder.
  7. You will be asked if you want to import the file in Zotero and you can choose to import the file in a new collection if you wish. If you don't import the file in a new collection, the file will save in the current selected collection in you Zotero library.​

How do I add a reference from PsycNET?

  1. ​Search in PsycNET. Select the references that you would like to import into your library by clicking the boxes on the left side in the PsycNET result list.
  2. Click Export at the top of the page. 
  3. Select Reference Software to download a file. Select Go. Select Save File, then OK. The file will be saved in your computer's downloads folder and it will be called PsycNET_Export.
  4. Double-click on the file in your downloads folder.
  5. You will be asked if you want to import the file in Zotero and you can choose to import the file in a new collection if you wish. If you don't import the file in a new collection, the file will save in the current selected collection in your Zotero library.​

How do I add a reference from a PDF?

  1. If you already have an article saved as a PDF, Zotero can extract the metadata from the file to create the reference.
  2. Drag a PDF saved on your computer into your Zotero library. 
  3. Zotero will automatically try to populate the fields for your reference. If needed, right click on the item in the middle column and select Retrieve Metadata for PDF.
  4. Be sure to review the information for each reference as sometimes not all the information is populated. This means you will have to edit the reference to make sure all required fields contain the correct information.

How do I add a reference for a news article?

  1. Go to the page that has the news article you would like to reference.
  2. Select the folded newspaper icon to the right of the web address bar. 
  3. A box will open. Select a location to save your reference in your Zotero library. If you don't select a location, the reference will be saved under Unfiled Items.
  4. Your reference should appear in your Zotero library.
  5. Click on the item in your library. Under Info, the Item Type will be Newspaper Article.

How do I add a reference manually?

  1. Open Zotero.
  2. Click on the green circle icon (New Item), located above the left hand side of the middle column.
  3. Choose the appropriate resource type.
  4. Fill in the appropriate information into the fields.

How do I create a collection (folder)?

  1. In Zotero, folders are called collections.
  2. To create a new collection, open Zotero and click the folder icon with the green circle. 
  3. Give your collection a name and press OK.

How do I insert citations & bibliographies in Word?

  1. Open Word. Zotero should appear as a tab in the toolbar.
  2. Select Add/Edit Citation
  3. Use the search bar to find the reference you wish to cite. Type in a name or a keyword and possible results will appear.
  4. To insert a bibliography, select Add/Edit Bibliography.
    • This will generate a bibliography of all works cited in the document.
  • Make sure to double check your citations and bibliographies manually.

How do I find and delete duplicate citations?

  1. In your Zotero library, select the Duplicate Items collection on the left side. The references that Zotero believes are duplicates are listed in the centre.
  2. Click on a reference in the Duplicate Items collection. The other references that Zotero believes are duplicates will be selected too.
  3. Select Merge [number] items on the right side. The duplicate references will be merged.
    • If the references aren't an exact match, pick one of the versions to be the "master" on the right side. You can also choose a version for specific fields that don't match by clicking the icon beside a field.

How do I add an attachment to a reference?

  • As you are searching, if Zotero senses a PDF, it will automatically import it into Zotero and attach it to the reference information.
  • If Zotero doesn't automatically capture the PDF as it saves the reference, or if you would like to attach a different file, you can add an attachment afterwards.
    1. Right click the desired reference in your library and select Add Attachment.
    2. To attach a PDF select Attach Stored Copy of File..., your file manager should open, select your file and click Open.

How do I share references?

  1. Share your references by creating Groups.
  2. Go to Zotero.org on your web browser and log in.
  3. Once you have logged in, click on the Groups tab.
  4. Click on Create a New Group. You will then be taken to the Create a New Group page.
  5. You will need to choose a group name and select a group type. It's important to note that only private groups and public groups with closed memberships offer the option to share files in addition to references:
    • Private Groups:
      • Private groups provide a means of collaboration among group members without creating any public face for the group online.
      • Only group members and users invited to join the group are able to see the group’s page.
      • Private groups are completely hidden from group searches. They are not shown on members’ public profile pages and will not appear in search engine results.
      • If administrators enable file sharing, group members can access and share files in addition to references.
    • Public, Closed Membership:
      • Closed-membership groups are useful for creating a controlled group environment with a public presence. This allows a group to publicly present its work and sources, or develop new membership in a controlled fashion.
      • Anyone can view the group page, but the only way to join the group is by invitation or by requesting an invitation.
      • If the group has a library, administrators can choose to show or hide the library from non-members.
      • If administrators enable file sharing, group members can access and share files in addition to references.
    • Public, Open Membership:
      • Open public groups are useful for the broadest discussion and collaboration.
      • The group page is public, and anyone who wants to can join instantly.
      • If the group has a library, administrators can choose to show or hide the library from non-members.
      • Open public groups do not allow file sharing.
  6. After submitting the form, you will see your group's "Library Settings" where you can adjust reading and editing privileges for group members with regards to saved references and files.
  7. To invite members: 
    • Click on the "Groups" tab on the Zotero webpage.
    • Under your group name you will see 4 links: Group Library, Manage Profile, Manage Members and Manage Library. Select Manage Members.
    • Click on Send More Invitations. This link is usually found near the bottom of the page.
    • You can invite members by inputting their Zotero username or the email address they used to register for Zotero.
    • You are also able to view and manage group members from the "Manage Members" page.

How do I edit a reference?

  • It is always good to review the reference information when you import a new citation. 
  • Click on the title and the information will appear in the box on the right hand side of the screen. Click the field you wish to edit and it will reveal a box. 
  • Correct any errors, add notes and then click away. Your edits will automatically save.

How do I create tags?

  • Zotero ;allows you to create tags for references
  1. Click on a reference in your Zotero library.
  2. Look at the right-hand panel which contains the reference details and click on the Tags tab.
  3. Click on Add, type in a tag in the empty field, and hit Enter or Return.
    • While you type, you will be given a list of suggested tags that have already been made. You can click on a suggested tag and hit Enter or Return to add it.
    • Note that when references are added with the Zotero Connector, some tags might be automatically imported. These tags will have a red symbol in the Tags tab. The new tags that you add will have a blue symbol.
  4. The bottom left corner of your Zotero library will display all the tags for the items that are in the current centre area of your library.
    • To find references that have a specific tag, click on a tag in the bottom left area. Only references that are already displayed in the centre area of your library will be searched.

What if I still need help?

For additional help, Zotero provides helpful documents and guides or contact the library for further questions and support.

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