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Zotero: Citation Manager

On This Page

Each box on this page is intended as stand alone instruction/training to be embedded in a Blackboard course using the LTI (learn all the ways to embed LibGuides content on the linked guide).

To Embed a Box

When you embed a single box, your students will get a very focused set of resources or tutorial content: they won't be able to navigate to any other pages of the guide or other research guides.  

  1. Go to the section of your Blackboard course where you're going to embed the content. On the Build Content tab select LibGuides Link.
  2. In the next screen enter the name of the tutorial, research guide, or page. We recommend that you also add a brief description.
  3. Choose Submit. The title and description of your embedded LibGuide will now be in your course.
  4. Click on the title just created and choose your content type - a content box.
  5. Choose the guide that your box is in (note: any guides under the Private Guides heading are not embeddable).
  6. Next select the page that the box is on, then choose the box you want.
  7. Click on embed content to complete the process.

Overview & Learning Objectives

This module walks you through setting up a citation management tool: Zotero. Using a citation manager is great way to save time during your research process. It's an online tool that you can use to collect, manage and organize citations for articles, books and other sources that you find. You can also use it to create Reference Lists and do in-text citations - it's a huge time saver. 

Learning Objectives
  • Set up your individual Zotero account.
  • Integrate Zotero into your search process by saving citations from search results.
  • Start organizing your Zotero library to make it easier to use later.

Interactive Tutorial: Set Up Zotero

The best way to get comfortable with a tool like Zotero is practice. We'll be exploring even more features and discussing any questions you have at the live orientation, but you should use this interactive tutorial to set up your account so you can use it to complete the other orientation modules

Interactive Tutorial: Zotero and MS Word

In this tutorial you'll practice using Zotero inside MS Word to create in-text citations and a reference list.

Edit Your Citations

When you notice an error in a citation you can make changes to it either in your Zotero Library or in your document.

Best Option: Edit the item in your Zotero library. (Updates stick with that source forever going forward

  1. Click into the field you want to update. (eg author last name)
  2. Make the change.
  3. Click enter.
  4. To see the change in your Word document reference list, click Refresh.

OK Option: Edit the item in your document. (Updates only apply in that one document.)

  1. Click on your bibliography so it's highlighted in grey.
  2. Add/Edit Bibliography (again).
  3. In the right-hand column, choose the reference you want to edit.
  4. Make changes in the space at the bottom.
  5. Click OK.

Bonus: to change the title (Title Case vs Sentence case)

  1. Go to the item in your Zotero library
  2. Right click on the title
  3. Select your preference: Title Case or Sentence case. (APA 7th uses sentence case.)

Remember to compare your references to the style handbook in order to catch any errors!

Word Add-In: Multiple In-Text Sources in One Location

When you need to cite two sources in the same place in the text of your document, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Add/Edit Citation button, just like you would to cite a single source.
  2. Then click the Multiple Sources button at the bottom of the window.
  3. Highlight the sources you're using, click on the right-facing arrow to move them over.
  4. Click OK to properly insert them into your paper.

Hint: They should look like this: (Smith, 2019; Jones, 2020), not like this: (Smith, 2019)(Jones, 2020).

Zotero Practice Activity

Note: In Blackboard set up as a discussion board forum.

Whether you’re brand new to using Zotero or you’re an expert-level user, practice is always a useful way to integrate a tool into your research process. This activity is an opportunity to focus on using Zotero without the added pressure of finding and synthesizing sources.

Estimated time: 20 minutes
If you find this activity is taking significantly longer than the estimated time, or you're get stuck, overwhelmed, or have a question please stop working on it and email one of your librarians for assistance.   


  • Download the demonstration paper (DemonstrateZotero.docx) below. 
  • Use the links below to get to four sources and then add them to your Zotero Library.
  • Use Zotero (hint: use the guide) to add in-text citations and a reference list to the demonstration paper. 
  • Save your version of the demonstration paper as YourLastName_DemonstrateZotero.docx.
  • Post your demonstration paper as a comment to this discussion forum (just add to the one thread - no need to start a new one) with any questions/comments that came up as you worked on it so that your librarians can answer them.

Links to Sources

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