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Citation and Copyright

Information on plagiarism, citation management software, copyright, fair use, creative commons

Zotero Pages

Zotero Web Site:

Zotero Sections



Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It runs on Mac, Windows and Linux as a standalone application. Zotero can also synchronize and keep a copy of your library on its servers, so that you can access your citations from multiple computers and devices. It can also store notes and copies of pdfs or web pages along with citations, so it can be used as a research management tool as well. 

Getting Started: 

You can use Zotero as a stand alone application or in your Firefox browser. We recommend that you install Zotero as a stand alone application.

  • Install Zotero for your platform from (select the Standalone version, on the right hand side of the page)
  • Install browser extensions from the same page (buttons right below the Install buttion)
  • In Zotero Preferences, under the Cite tab, Install the word processor plugins for Word or Libre Office.
  • Optional but highly recommended: If you want to use Zotero from more than one computer or to use shared libraries and groups, make an account on [Register link on the upper right hand corner of ]

Collecting Citations, Documents, Web pages, PDFs

Entering Citations in Zotero:

You can add items to Zotero any time

  • create a new entry and type the information in manually.
  • add an entry by typing its identifier (ISBN, for ex) 
  • with browser plugins installed, add a reference to a page or bibliographic item you are viewing by clicking the Zotero icon that is near the URL bar of your browser. The icon changes depending on the type of reference, and it is in a different position in Chrome and Safari. There is no plugin for IE. (Note that this adds the citation to the most recently opened collection.)

For more information on entering citations see the Zotero Quick Start Guide, the "Getting stuff into your Library" page, and the "Getting stuff into your Library" screencast. Also the Eastern Michigan University Zotero Guide

Collections and Groups

Organizing Citations

Your Zotero Library: All citations are part of your Zotero library

Collections:  A citation may be a member of one or more collections. This can be very useful when collecting references for a project. 

Tags: Tags are user assigned, and provide another way to group and categorize citations across collections.

Group Libraries: If you have an account on the Zotero server, you may be a member of group bibliographies. These will also appear in your Zoter stand alone application. 

For more information on Grouping see the Zotero Quick Start documenation, the Zotero documentation pages under the heading "Organizing your Library and Taking Notes" and the videos on "Managing your Library". 

Create a Bibliography

You can use Zotero to add properly formatted citations in footnotes and bibliographies in Microsoft Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice/NeoOffice. 

  • You can drag and drop citations from the center column of Zotero into any text document.
  • You can highlight items in the center column of the Zotero app, right click [CTRL-click on Macs] citations and select "Create Bibliography."
  • You can install the Word Processor plugins, and use the built in Zotero commands to insert bibliography into your paper. For more information see the Zotero documentation on Word Processor Integration. You can also install the word processor plugin from the Zotero Preferences Cite tab. 

Senior Digital Humanities Librarian

Elli Mylonas's picture
Elli Mylonas
Office: Rockefeller Library A-42
401 863 7231