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Using Zotero

Zotero is a free citation management tool.You can use Zotero to collect, manage and cite your research resources. You can also create collections/libraries for specific research projects, share data with collaborators, and generate bibliographies.

Using Zotero

You can store bibliographic information as items in Zotero:

  • books
  • journal articles
  • web pages
  • artwork
  • films
  • sound recordings
  • cases & statutes
  • and many other items

To learn more about storing files (such as PDFs or images), and attaching files to items, see the files page.  Much of the information provided here is on the Zotero.org website under Documentation.

As with all citations, make sure they are correct -  Verify and Edit Your Records

NOTE:  Zotero will accurately import information associated with your resource, but it may not be accurate. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK ZOTERO CITATIONS.

Tutorial for Getting Stuff into Zotero

NOTE: This video shows an old version of Zotero. The location of buttons may be different in your version.

Using Direct Export

Most databases offer a Direct Export choice.  

If the Direct Export feature does not work, there are two ways to export your citation(s).

1.  Using the Web Translators feature.

2. Exporting it in RIS format and saving it to your Clipboard.  Then using the Import feature within Zotero.

 

Adding Webpages

Web Translators

This feature is available if you have installed Zotero Connectors for Chrome, Safari, or Opera in addition to Zotero. See Installation.

One of Zotero's most convenient features is its ability to find bibliographic information on the web pages you visit. For example, when you are looking at the record for a book in an online library catalog, Zotero's save button will often change to the icon of a book (circled in red):

Chrome users: On supported pages, you can find the icon within the Chrome address bar, on the right-hand side.

Safari users: The icon is just to the left of the address bar, grouped with other Safari icons:

When you click this book icon, Zotero will save all of the bibliographic information about that book to your library, in a newly created “Book” item. On some web pages that list information about multiple items (e.g. a list of Google Scholar search results), Zotero will show a folder icon. Clicking this folder icon will open a window in which you can select the items that you want to save to your library:

If you have selected a collection in the left-hand column of Zotero (that is, a collection is highlighted in the left column rather than “My Library”), items are saved into that collection.

Whether or not Zotero can recognize bibliographic information on a web page depends on the web page. Some websites use a standard way to provide Zotero with data (via embedded metadata). For other sites, Zotero relies on website-specific translators. Zotero works with most library catalogs, several popular websites such as Amazon.com and NYTimes.com, and many (gated) databases and websites of scientific publishers. Just look for icons in the toolbar or address bar of your browser (for more information, see our compatible websites list). By default, translator updates are automatically installed, independent of Zotero updates.

Add Item by Identifier

If you already know the ISBN, Digital Object Identifier (DOI), or PubMed ID, you can add the item to your Zotero Library.

To add an item via one of these identifiers, click the “Add Item by Identifier” button () at the top of the center column of the Zotero pane, type or paste in the identifier and press Enter.

Zotero uses the following databases for looking up item metadata:Library of Congress and WorldCat for ISBNs, CrossRef for DOIs, and NCBI PubMed for PubMed IDs.