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Citation Management : Zotero

A guide for all things citation management.

Download Zotero

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Access Zotero. Click on the large red 'download' button to download Zotero and its browser connectors.

What is Zotero?

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

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Tips for Getting Started with Zotero

Add References

Option 1: Enter manually
  • Click on the green plus icon on the Zotero Tool Bar
  • 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 toolbar (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

  • The Zotero Word Plug-In should have downloaded automatically
    • Note: To install manually, go here.
  • Open Word. 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

Create a Bibliography

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.

Zotero and Google Docs

When you open Google Docs in a browser that has a Zotero Connector installed, you will see a Zotero option added to your menu.

Screenshot of the Zotero option in Google DocsTo add a citation to your Google Doc:

1. Choose "Add/edit citation" from the menu. If you don't already have Zotero running on your computer, you will be prompted to do so.

2. Next, you will be prompted to choose your citation style from a pop-up dialog box.

3. When you're ready to save or publish your Google Doc, go to:

  • File → “Make a copy…”
  • in the new document, use Zotero → “Unlink Citations” to convert the citations and bibliography to plain text.

Note: If someone views your active Google Doc without having the Zotero Connector installed they can still read and/or edit, but active citations will show up as links leading to URLs.

More documentation on Zotero in Google Docs can be found here: