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Citation Management Programs: Zotero

This guide contains information about different resources to use when you need to manage citations.

Ask a Librarian

Librarians are available to help you with your questions. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have regarding citation styles, citation management, etc.

Use the chat box below, contact your subject specialist librarian or Ask a Librarian for more options.

Training and Support


Zotero is free and easy-to-use desktop software to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research.  Zotero is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Zotero allows you to sync data across devices and access your records from the web.

You can easily add references to your Zotero library from the web by adding Zotero connector browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. 

Getting started With Zotero

1. Install Zotero on the computer you will use most often.

2. Set up a Zotero account. .  Accounts let you sync, use groups and back-up attached files.

3. Install connectors to let your web browser save citations to your Zotero library with one click.

4. Open Word or other word processing software and make sure the Zotero plug in was installed.  If not, you may need to add manually.  

5. Set up your Preferences.  In Zotero Desktop, under edit - preferences:

  • General Preferences: we recommend using Zotero for awhile before changing default settings.
  • Sync: Fill in your Zotero account information to allow data syncing when you are working online and desktop version is not open.  More information about file sync
  • Export: Adjust to citation format you will use most when sending records from Zotero.
  • Styles: Adjust to citation format you use most when writing or preparing bibliographies. Can be easily changed if you use multiple formats.
  • Advanced: Change settings so Zotero can more easily find full text.

Adding references to papers and creating bibliographies in Word

Using Zotero with Microsoft word is easy!

1. Get to the point where you want to add a reference and click on the Zotero toolbar in Word.
*Zotero installs the Word plug-in when the desktop software is installed.  If you don't have the Word plug-in, install Zotero on the computer you will use.*

2. Click on Add/Edit Citation and select the citation style you want to use first, then ok.
 Zotero supports  APA, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, Vancouver and others.

3. The next time you click on Add/Edit Citation, start typing information about your citation in the Z bar.  When the correct citation comes up, click to add. 
*Check your citation carefully for errors.*

4.  When you are finished writing, click Add/Edit Bibiiography and Zotero will add a bibliography at the end.
*Check your citation carefully for errors.*