Zotero

Zotero Logo

About Zotero

Zotero is a free downloadable citation manager that easily grabs information from the web. Beyond its almost magical web–grabbing features, Zotero allows users to save, organize, and share references. Did we mention Zotero integrates with word processors? You can insert properly formatted citations directly into documents using Zotero’s Word add-in.

Registering for an Account

  1. Go to www.zotero.org.
  2. In the upper right hand corner, click Register.
  3. Provide a username, email address, & password. Fulfill the “Captcha” phrase requirements and select Register.
  4. Follow the instructions provided in the resulting confirmation e-mail.

Downloading Zotero

  • Go to www.zotero.org.
  • Click on the big red Download Now button.
  • Download Zotero 5.0 (for Mac or Windows) AND a Zotero Connector (for Chrome, Firefox, or Safari).

Setting up Sync

Syncing allows your Zotero client to communicate with the Zotero cloud. This allows you to back up your citations!

To set up Sync:

  • Open your Zotero client.
  • If using a PC, select Edit on the top horizontal menu, then choose Preferences. If using a Mac, select Zotero on the top application menu, then choose Preferences.
  • Select Sync in the top horizontal toolbar.
  • Input your Zotero username and password (what you created on www.zotero.org). Click OK.
    • IMPORTANT: Some Zotero Standalone users may not have an OK button. If you do not have a button on your client, just close out of the Preferences screen. Your changes will be saved automatically.

For Chrome Connector Users

In some instances you may want your Chrome connector to sync directly to the Zotero Server–for example, if your client is not working properly. To save to Zotero’s Server via Chrome, you must alter Chrome’s preferences.

  • First, follow this path: Open ChromeChrome Settings IconMore ToolsExtensions.
  • Then, under the Zotero Connector entry, select Options.
  • Authorize Zotero Connector to Save to Zotero.org. Enter your Zotero username and password into a popup to authenticate this access.

For Safari Connector Users

In some instances you may want your Safari connector to sync directly to the Zotero Server–for example, if your client is not working properly. To save to Zotero’s Server via Safari, you must alter Safari’s preferences.

  • Simultaneously press Control & click anywhere on the Safari screen.  A dropdown menu should appear.
  • Select Zotero Preferences.
  • Under Save via Server, select Authorize.
  • You must sign in with your Zotero username/email and password.
  • Accept defaults.

Integrating Zotero with Word

Zotero’s Word plugin should install automatically when you download Zotero 5.0. If you ever need to re-install the plugin, follow the below procedure.

  • Make sure you have quit your word processing program.
  • Open your Zotero client.
  • If using a PC, select Edit on the top horizontal menu, then choose Preferences. If using a Mac, select Zotero on the top application menu, then choose Preferences.
  • On the resulting popup box, click the Cite tab.
  • Toggle to Word Processors and click Reinstall Microsoft Word Add-in.
  • Follow any resulting installation popups.

Depending on your operating system and version of Word, you may find your Zotero toolbar under Word’s Add-Ins tab, or in a separate Zotero tab, or as a floating toolbar (a toolbar not integrated within a top horizontal menu).

An image of Zotero’s Word toolbar on a PC appears below:

Zotero Toolbar

Downloading Additional Citation Styles

The Zotero client comes with several popular citation styles pre-installed, such as APA, Chicago, and MLA.

If you need to use a style that does not come pre-loaded in Zotero, just…

  • Go to www.zotero.org/styles.
  • Search for your desired style in the provided search field (at the top of the webpage).
  • Select the style you want.
    • On a PC, you will simply click on a hyperlinked style and select Install from the resulting popup box.
    • On a Mac…
      • Click on your desired style. The style file will then appear in your computer’s Downloads folder.
      • Within the Downloads folder, select the appropriate file.
      • A popup box may appear that reads, Install Style. Select Install.

Creating an Annotated Bibliography

To create an annotated bibliography using Zotero, you must download a citation style that supports annotations. The following are available through Zotero’s Style Repository: American Psychological Association 6th edition (annotated bibliography with abstract) and Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition (note, annotated bibliography). To download one of these styles…

  • Go to www.zotero.org/styles.
  • Search for “annotated” in the provided search field (at the top of the webpage).
  • Select the style you want.
    • On a PC, you will simply click on a hyperlinked style and select Install from the resulting pop-up box.
    • On a Mac…
      • Click on your desired style. The style file will then appear in your computer’s Downloads folder.
      • Within the Downloads folder, select the appropriate file.
      • A popup box may appear that reads, Install Style. Select Install.

Important: If using Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition (note, annotated bibliography), insert annotations into Zotero’s Extra field. If using American Psychological Association 6th edition (annotated bibliography with abstract), insert annotations into Zotero’s Abstract field.

Capturing Online Data

Firefox, Safari, or Chrome users can capture information by clicking a type specific icon. If Zotero recognizes the “type” of item displayed on the screen, an item specific icon will appear. A folder icon represents a bibliographic list, a book icon represents information about a specific book, a document icon represents a specific article, a webcam icon represents a video.

  • In Safari, this icon appears to the left of the address bar (where http://www…. usually goes).
  • In Chrome, this icon appears just outside the address bar to the right.
  • In Firefox, this icon also appears outside of the address bar to the right among the tool and feature icons.

Importing Citations

References can be imported into Zotero that were exported from databases or other citation managers (such as EndNote, Mendeley, and RefWorks).

IMPORTANT: If exporting from another citation manager, make sure to first export your citations by folder. This will allow you to preserve your original organizational structure.

Zotero easily imports the following file formats (Getting Stuff into Your Library. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.zotero.org/support/getting_stuff_into_your_library):

  • Zotero RDF
  • MODS
  • BibTeX
  • RIS
  • Refer/BibIX
  • Unqualified Dublin Core RDF

To import citations saved in one of the above formats, open your Zotero client…

  • Both PC and Mac users should select File, then Import.
  • Browse to find your file.

Using Zotero in the Sciences

Zotero easily integrates with your word processor of choice (Word, LibreOffice, & OpenOffice); but, some additional steps are required to ensure citations comply with scientific convention. For example, some scientific words must be italicized—such as Latin names of species.

If a title in your Zotero library contains a word/phrase that requires a particular style when included in a bibliography (when outputted from Zotero into your word processor), you must insert pre-designated HTML codes in Zotero.

CITATION EXAMPLE:
Article Title:
Silk gene transcripts in the developing tubuliform glands of the Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus
By:
Merri L. Casem, Matthew A. Collin, Nadia A. Ayoub, and Cheryl Y. Hayashi

In the above example, to ensure that Latrodectus hesperus remains italicized when included as a citation or bibliographic entry, the title must be written as <i>Latrodectus hesperus</i> in your Zotero library.

Here is a list of useful codes provided on Zotero’s website at https://www.zotero.org/support/kb/rich_text_bibliography

  • Surround text with <i> and </i> to achieve italics
  • Surround text with <b> and </b> to achieve bolded text
  • Surround text with <sub> and </sub> to achieve subscripts
  • Surround text with <sup> and </sup> to achieve superscripts
  • Surround text with <span style=”font-variant:small-caps;”> and </span> to achieve SMALLCAPS

Troubleshooting Zotero

Having a problem setting up or using Zotero? One of these troubleshooting tips may solve your problem! If not, feel free to contact Emily Cook for help!

PROBLEM: My Word plug-in didn’t install after I downloaded it!

SOLUTION: Microsoft Word may have been open during installation of the Zotero Word plugin. Save your documents and quit Word. Now, reopen Word. Your Zotero toolbar should appear. If not, try reinstalling the Zotero Word plugin with Microsoft Word closed–then reopen.

PROBLEM: My Zotero toolbar disappeared in Word…I’m using my Mac.

SOLUTION: Sometimes on Macs, Zotero’s Word toolbar is a floating toolbar. To reopen the Zotero toolbar, select View from the top horizontal toolbar in Word. Then, choose ToolbarsZotero Bibliographic Management. You should once again see your Zotero floating toolbar.

PROBLEM: I cannot grab data from from a particular database using Zotero’s Connector connector.

SOLUTION: As a temporary solution, you can download your citation as a RIS or BibteX file and upload it directly through the Zotero Standalone Client.

W&L Zotero User Group

Sign up to be a part of the W&L Zotero User Group. Receive e-mails about Zotero updates and received notifications about advanced Zotero user sessions/meetings.



Request a Tutorial