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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.

Data Backup

  1. To back up your Zotero library you will need to locate the Zotero data directory where your Zotero data is stored on your computer. To do this click on the actions button (gear icon) in the Zotero toolbar and select preferences:

  2. Next, after the Zotero preferences window opens, select the Advanced tab in the preferences window:

  3. Now select the button Show Data Directory:

  4. Your Zotero data directory will now be open:

  5. Reduce, but do not close, the data directory window:

  6. Now close Zotero and Firefox:

  7. Go to the Zotero data directory that you reduced in step 5 and move to the next higher level in the file directory:

  8. On the next level of the directory find the folder Zotero_library and copy it:

  9. Now paste the Zotero_library folder to another data location such as a flash drive:

  10. Once the data directory has copied to a new location you will have successfully backed up your Zotero library:


Syncing allows you to access your Zotero library on any computer with internet access. Zotero syncing has two parts: data syncing and file syncing.

There is no limit to data syncing and a 300MB limit ot file syncing, with the option to purchase more. Zotero can be installed on any computer with Firefox, even without administrator privileges.

In order to sync data you must register for a Zotero account, which is free and only takes a few moments:

1. In Zotero select Edit > Preferences


2.  Open the Sync Tab and enter your Zotero account username and password in the server section:


By default files will be synched using the Zotero File Storage (recommended over WebDav):


Syncs of data and files will occur automatically but can be executed manually by using the Sync icon (     )

in the upper right corner of the Zotero window.