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

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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.
  • Download Zotero 5.0:
  • Download the Zotero Connector:
  • 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

How do I enter citations into Zotero?

Start by building your research library

Add an article to your Zotero library by navigating to the library catalog or website that hosts the resource and clicking on the yellow (or grey) folder icon. It will appear somewhere on the top of your screen, depending on your computer.


Zotero can find research articles on the page and will ask you what articles you’d like to save to your collection.​


After you add citations to Zotero, you should find these citation entries in your Zotero application.

Collections and Groups

Organize your citations

Now that you have collected a few articles, you can get organized. Click the folder icon on the upper left hand of your screen to create a new collection. Drag and drop the relevant articles into that folder.

Consider adding notes to save your ideas about articles. You can write a note and drag the note under the relevant article.


Add tags to your research to easily search themes in your collection. Say, for example, you've created folders to organize documents from each of your courses in Sociology, English, and Math. But you'd like to link all the citations that relate to "climate." You can create a tag called "climate" and that will link all of these articles together. You can then run a global search for "climate" and find all the citations you tagged as "climate."


Collaborate with your colleagues

Collaborate with others by joining groups or creating your own. Try creating a new group and adding one of your colleagues. You can change the privacy settings to allow for people to join your group or hide your group from others. This group will appear in your Zotero application under "Group Libraries." The group is essentially a shared folder so that you and your colleagues can share resources.


For more information on Grouping see the Zotero Quick Start documentation.

Automatically Create a Bibliography in Word or Google Docs

You can use Zotero to add properly formatted citations in footnotes and bibliographies in Microsoft Word and Google Docs

  • 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.