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Zotero: Citation Manager

Welcome to Zotero

Using Zotero is a way for you to collect, manage and organization citations for all the articles, books and other sources you find. You can use it to create Reference Lists and do in-text citations - a great way to save time during your research process. This guide will walk you through setting up and using Zotero, as well as some specific tips and strategies.

As you become a Zotero expert, keep in mind that's only one of the skill sets you need to be a good writer. Among other things, you'll want to check your formatting and citations using style guide resources (e.g the APA Publication Manual and Purdue OWL). You'll also want to practice how to acknowledge your sources and show respect for their work through paraphrasing, quoting, and other techniques. 

Tech Note

Safari: Safari 14 and the Zotero Connector are not working well together (it's a bit buggy). Zotero is working on a new version on the Connect once Safari's bugs are fixed. Generally, we recommend using Firefox or Chrome as your default browser.

Step 1: Register & Download

To get the most out of Zotero make sure you have the most updated version of the Internet browser of your choice (Firefox or Chrome) and you'll need to have MS Word downloaded on your computer. Current MCPHS community members can download the office suite from MCPHS Office 365.

  1. Go to Zotero's website to set up your free account. 
  2. Click on Log In (in the top, right-hand corner) and then Register for a free account. Follow the prompts.
  3. You now have a Zotero account! 
     
  4. Go to the Zotero Download page, and follow the prompts to set up both of these:
    • Zotero for Windows/Mac (your desktop library)
    • Zotero Connector (lives in your browser).

To get the most out of Zotero make sure you have the most updated version of the Internet browser of your choice (Firefox or Chrome) and you'll need to have MS Word downloaded on your computer. Current MCPHS community members can download the office suite from MCPHS Office 365.

  1. Go to Zotero's website and click Log InZotero.org homepage
     
  2. Then Register for a free account and follow the prompts. Log in page for Zotero personal account.

    Registration page for personal Zotero account.
     
  3. You now have a Zotero account! 
     
  4. Go to the Zotero Download page, and follow the prompts to set up both of these:
    • Zotero for Windows/Mac (your desktop library)
    • Zotero Connector (lives in your browser).
    Zotero download page - download both Zotero 5.0 and the install the Zotero Connector from this page.

    You know you've successfully installed the Zotero Connector browser extension when the only action offered to you is to remove or disable it (the wording will depend on your browser). In Chrome you'll see a screen like this when you've set it up:
    The Zotero Connector (browser extension) in the Chrome Web Store.

Step 2: Set Preferences in Your Library

  1. On your computer, open Zotero. (The part you downloaded and installed.)
  2. If Windows then Edit > Preferences, if Mac then Zotero > Preferences.
  3. Start with these preference settings:
Setting Action
Sync Log in with the Zotero username and password you created.
Export Choose your citation format.
Cite > Styles Choose your citation format.
If you don't immediately see your citation style of choice,
click on Get Additional Styles... to find it.
  
Cite > Word Processors Install Microsoft Add-in; use classic Add Citation dialog

When you're done, on a PC you'll click OK/Save to close the Preferences and on a Mac you can just close the window - your choices will save.

 

Sync: Log in with the Zotero username and password you created.

The sync preference settings in the download Zotero library.

 

Export: Choose your citation format (you can change this at any time).

The export preference settings in the download Zotero library.

 

Cite > Styles: Choose your citation format. If you don't immediately see your citation style of choice, click on Get Additional Styles... to find it.

The Cite - Styles preference settings in the download Zotero library.

 

Cite > Word Processors: Install Microsoft Add-in, then click the Use Classic Add Citation checkbox.

The Cite - Word Processors preference settings in the download Zotero library.

When you're done, on a PC you'll click OK/Save to close the Preferences and on a Mac you can just close the window - your choices will save.

Here's How Zotero Works

 

More Zotero Help

Other Citation Managers

If Zotero isn't meeting your citation management needs try one of these other options. Just remember to organize them somehow - your future self will thank you!

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