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Zotero : Zotero

Zotero is a free citation management program that helps you organize and cite your sources, take notes, and collaborate with other researchers. This guide provides information on downloading, customizing, and using Zotero.

Downloading Zotero

  1. Before you start, save any documents you have open and close Word. Close any unnecessary browser windows and tabs.
  2. Go to Zotero's download page
  3. Download Zotero for your operating system (Linux, Mac, Windows)
  4. Install the connector for your preferred browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari)
    1. The Safari connector should be bundled in with the Zotero download. To enable it, go to Safari menu → Preferences → Extensions → Zotero Connector

Safari preferences for extensions

  1. If you aren't already prompted, go to Zotero's registration page
  2. Fill out the registration form
  3. Check your email for confirmation
  4. Open Zotero and go to your Preferences (see 'Set preferences' section for more information).
    1. In Windows: Edit Preferences;
    2. On a Mac: Zotero menu → Preferences
  5. Click on the 'Sync' tab and enter your log-in information

Sync preferences for Windows

Sync preferences for Mac

 

  1. Open Zotero and go to 'Preferences'
    1. In Windows, go to 'Edit' --> 'Preferences'
    2. On a Mac, go to 'Zotero' --> 'Preferences'
  2. The 'General' tab is mostly related to file storage. No changes are needed, but you can refer to Zotero's support documentation for further information.
  3. The 'Sync' tab allows you to sign in with your Zotero account to sync across devices.
  4. The 'Cite' tab allows you to add styles if your preferred citation style is not included. The 'Word Processors' sub-tab provides a way to reinstall the Word Add-in if it isn't automatically available in Word.
  5. The 'Advanced' tab allows you to add UTC's OpenURL resolver so you can use the Library Lookup feature:
    1. Zotero will lookup your sources in the UTC Library's holdings with a push of a button. Add the following URL to the OpenURL resolver field: https://utc.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/openurl?institution=01UTC_INST&vid=01UTC_INST:01UTC& 
    2. When a source in your collection is highlighted, click on the green arrow above the info pane and select 'Library Lookup'
    3. If the source is available in the UTC Library, you should see viewing options under the item record
      Library lookup menu in Zotero
  6. The 'Files and Folders' sub-tab displays the Data Directory Location, which is where you can find backup files if needed.

Screenshots of Cite and Advanced preferences menus

 

Let's make sure everything works! With Zotero open, we'll make sure you can add an item to your library and cite it in Word or Google Docs if applicable.

Add a source to your library

  1. Look at the item record for Where Research Begins in the library's Quick Search.
  2. You should see a book or page icon near your browser address bar. When you hover over the icon with your cursor, it will show that you can 'Save to library'.*
    Add book icon for Zotero
  3. Click on the icon to add the source to your library.
  4. Make sure the source is added to your library, and the information looks correct in the info pane to the right.

*If you don't see this icon, you might have to pin the connector to your browser's extensions. In Chrome, for example, you should see a puzzle piece that you can click on to pin the Zotero connector to your visible extensions.
Extensions menu in Chrome

Cite your source in Word

  1. Open a new document in Word
  2. You should see a Zotero menu in Word that includes a number of options (see below for screenshot)
  3. Click on "Add/edit citation"
    Zotero menu in Word
  4. If prompted, choose you preferred style (APA will work if you don't have a preference).
  5. You should see a red search bar to search your Zotero library for a source. If you don't, make sure it isn't hiding behind another window.
  6. Search for mullaney and click on the option for Where Research Begins... Once you see the author(s) in the search box, click on the name(s) to include page numbers or explanatory notes.
  7. Hit 'enter'/'return' on your keyboard to add the source citation. This should add a parenthetical citation (for APA or MLA) or a footnote at the bottom of the page (for Chicago and similar styles).

Cite your source in Google Docs

  1. Open a new document in Google Docs
  2. You should see a Zotero menu at the top. Click on 'Add/edit citation'.
  3. The first time you use this feature, you will be prompted to log in to your Google account. Use whichever Google log-in you would normally use for your academic work in Google Docs (e.g., your abc123@mocs.utc.edu account)
  4. Set your document preferences to your preferred citation style. Note: If you see a box that says "Zotero is updating your document. Please wait," look for the Document Preferences window behind any open windows.
  5. You should see a red search bar to search your Zotero library for a source. If you don't, make sure it isn't hiding behind another window.
  6. Search for mullaney and click on the option for Where Research Begins...
  7. Hit 'enter'/'return' on your keyboard to add the source citation. This should add a parenthetical citation (for APA or MLA) or a footnote at the bottom of the page (for Chicago and similar styles).

Troubleshooting

If you have any problems with Zotero, contact your friendly librarians at libresearch@utc.edu or refer to Zotero's Support and documentation page.

Using Zotero

Before you can take notes, organize your sources, or create bibliographies, you need to add sources to your library. You can add items manually by clicking on the 'New item' icon New item icon in Zotero, but the easiest way is to find sources in a library database or website and add them with a click of a button:

  1. Make sure you have downloaded the appropriate connector for your browser before searching for sources.
  2. Search the library's Quick Search, a favorite library database, or freely available sites such as WorldCat, Google Scholar, or Amazon.
  3. When you get to a page of search results, you should see a folder icon near your browser address bar. When you click on that folder, you will see a list of your search results. Check the boxes for as many relevant sources as you want, and click 'OK' to add to your library.
    Save multiple items with Zotero folder icon
  4. From your search results, select one item of interest to you to see a detailed record of the source. You should see a book or page icon near your browser address bar. Click on the icon to save to your library.*
    Add source with book icon in ZoteroAdd source with article icon in Zotero
  5. When you add an item to your library, it is a good practice to look at the info pane in Zotero and verify the bibliographic information is correct and properly formatted.

*If you don't see this icon, you might have to pin the connector to your browser's extensions. In Chrome, for example, you should see a puzzle piece that you can click on to pin the Zotero connector to your visible extensions.

Chrome extensions menu to pin Zotero Connector
 

Cite your source in Word

  1. Open a new document in Word
  2. You should see a Zotero menu in Word that includes a number of options (see below for screenshot)
  3. Click on "Add/edit citation"
  4. If prompted, choose you preferred style 
  5. You should see a red search bar to search your Zotero library for a source. If you don't, make sure it isn't hiding behind another window.
  6. Search for keywords from the source you are citing, and select the correct item from the list
  7. Hit 'enter'/'return' on your keyboard to add the source citation. This should add a parenthetical citation (for APA or MLA) or a footnote at the bottom of the page (for Chicago and similar styles).
  8. As long as you use Zotero consistently to cite your sources, you can add a bibliography at the end of your document by moving your cursor to the desired location and clicking on 'Add/Edit bibliography'. This will only be populated with sources you cited using Zotero. See the "Create Bibliographies" section for further details.
    Zotero menu in Word

Cite your source in Google Docs

  1. Open a new document in Google Docs
  2. You should see a Zotero menu at the top. Click on 'Add/edit citation'
  3. The first time you use this feature, you will be prompted to log in to your Google account. Use whichever Google log-in you would normally use for your academic work in Google Docs (e.g., your abc123@mocs.utc.edu account)
  4. Set your document preferences to your preferred citation style. Note: If you see a box that says Zotero is updating your document. Please wait, look for the document preferences window behind your open windows.
  5. You should see a red search bar to search your Zotero library for a source. If you don't, make sure it isn't hiding behind another window.
  6. Search for keywords from the source you are citing, and select the correct item from the list
  7. Hit 'enter'/'return' on your keyboard to add the source citation. This should add a parenthetical citation (for APA or MLA) or a footnote at the bottom of the page (for Chicago and similar styles).
  8. As long as you use Zotero consistently to cite your sources, you can add a bibliography at the end of your document by moving your cursor to the desired location and clicking on 'Add/Edit bibliography'. This will only be populated with sources you cited using Zotero. See the "Create Bibliographies" section for further details.
    Zotero menu in Google Docs

You can create bibliographies with Zotero a few different ways: directly in the program, dragging and dropping into a new document, or using the function in Word or Google Docs.

Creating a bibliography in Zotero

  1. Select an item in your library or in a collection
  2. Select additional items by holding down Ctrl+click for individual selections, Shift+click for multiple selections, or Ctrl+A to select all sources in a library or collection
  3. Right click or Ctrl+click your selections and choose 'Create bibliography from items' from the menu
  4. Choose your style and preferred output method
    1. An RTF will open in Word, an HTML file will open in a web browser, copy it to the clipboard to paste elsewhere, or print the bibliography directly.

Create bibliography in Zotero

Drag and drop a bibliography into another document

  1. Select an item in your library or in a collection
  2. Select additional items by holding down Ctrl+click for individual selections, Shift+click for multiple selections, or Ctrl+A to select all sources in a library or collection
  3. Click and hold your selections, and move your cursor to a document, email, or other application.
  4. Release the selection and if the program allows it, your bibliography will appear

Create a bibliography in Word or Google Docs

  1. Use the 'Add/Edit citation' feature whenever you cite a source
  2. Place the cursor where you want your bibliography in the document
  3. Click on 'Add/Edit bibliography'
  4. This will generate a bibliography with a single entry for every source cited.
  5. If you notice any typos or errors in your bibliography, edit the information for each source in Zotero
  6. Click on 'Refresh' in the Zotero menu in Word or Google Docs to update your citations and bibliography with the updated information.

You can create notes for sources in Zotero using their 'Notes' pane, or annotate your PDFs directly in Zotero's PDF viewer.

Create notes in Zotero

  1. Select a source in your library
  2. Click on the 'Notes' tab in the right window pane
  3. Click on 'Add' to create a new note
  4. This opens a rich text editor. You can keep all your notes in one note, and it will be visible when you click on the drop-down indicator for your source. You might also create a separate note for each of your ideas. They will all be saved under the parent source.

Annotate PDFs in Zotero

  1. If you have attached a PDF to a source, you can open it in Zotero's PDF viewer by clicking on the PDF icon under the source.
  2. The menu at the top of the PDF viewer allows you to highlight text, add notes, select sections, or customize highlighter colors.
  3. Once you have highlighted text, you can add comments to the section you have highlighted in the left window pane.
  4. To consolidate all your annotations in one place, right click or Ctrl+click the parent source and select 'Add note from annotations'

Zotero notes and annotations options

Zotero allows you to keep all your sources in one place, and organize them for easy access using collections/folders, tags, and search options.

  • Create a collection for a class, a project, or a theme
    • All items in a collection will also be included in the top library
  • Create tags that could be applied to a variety of sources across collections
    • By default, Zotero will add subject headings and keywords from library databases to your items' tags
  • Search your entire library by bibliographic information, tags you created, or notes you added

Organizing sources in Zotero

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