Zotero

Zotero Logo

About Zotero

Zotero is a free (REALLY) 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 papers 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. Type in the "Captcha" phrase and select Register.
  4. Follow the instructions provided in the resulting confirmation e-mail.

Downloading Zotero

Zotero can be used in one of two different configurations:

  • Users can download the Zotero Firefox Plugin and the Microsoft Word Plugin, or…
  • Users can download the Zotero Standalone Client (pre–loaded with a Word plugin) with a browser specific "connector."

Once you have decided which configuration you want to use, complete the following steps.

  1. Go to www.zotero.org.
  2. Click on the big red Download Now button.
  3. Select your desired products and follow Zotero’s prompts.

Remember to download everything you need for your chosen configuration! You must download both the Zotero Firefox Plugin AND the Word Plugin. Or, you must download both the Zotero Standalone Client AND a browser connector.

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.
  • In your Zotero client, select the grey cog icon (the actions icon). Actions Icon
  • Choose Preferences.
  • Select Sync in the top 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 IconMore ToolsExtensions.
  • Then, under the Zotero Connector entry, select Options.
  • Authorize Zotero Connector to Save via Server.  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

Only users of Zotero’s Firefox plugin need to install a secondary word processor plug-in.
Zotero Standalone Client users DO NOT need to install a secondary word processor plugin
.

Installing a Word Processor Plugin

  • After installing Zotero’s Firefox plugin, return to www.zotero.org.
  • Make sure you have quit your word processing program.
  • Click on the red Download Now button.
  • Under Zotero for Firefox, click plugin for Word or LibreOffice.
  • On the resulting page, select the appropriate plugin for your word processor of choice (Word for Windows/Mac or LibreOffice).
  • Follow the resulting installation pop-ups.

Downloading Additional Citation Styles

The Zotero client comes with several popular citation styles pre-installed, such as APA, Chicago, and MLA. But, sometimes you need to use a different style. For example, many academic journals require the use of highly specialized styles.

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 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 pop up 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 16th 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 pop up box may appear that reads, Install Style. Select Install.

Important: If using Chicago Manual of Style 16th 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.

Understanding the Zotero Interface

Below is an example of the Zotero pane client that appears within Firefox. For Standalone client users, your interface will still be segmented into three separate areas—as seen below.

Zotero Pane

Zotero Pane (Firefox browser )

Checking W&L Library’s Holdings with Zotero

You’ve set up your Zotero client of choice and collected a flurry of references. Now what? You can see if the resources you collected are available through the Washington & Lee University Library! Just follow the instructions provided below.

  • Open your Zotero client.
  • Click on the Actions icon (the small gray gear) in the top center portion of your Zotero pane.
  • From the resulting drop-down menu, choose Preferences.
  • In the Preferences dialog box, ensure the Advanced tab is selected.
  • While in the Advanced tab, to the right of Resolver, enter the following: http://nw7pf8as2n.search.serialssolutions.com/

To see if W&L Library owns or subscribes to an item, select a specific item (book or article) in the central segment of your Zotero Pane. Then, select the Locate icon Locate (the right pointing green arrow). From the dropdown menu, choose Library Lookup. You should now be able to search the library’s catalog, input an interlibrary loan request, or see the full text of your desired document!

Capturing Online Data

There are several distinct ways to capture information from your browser using Zotero’s Firefox plugin or Safari/Chrome connectors.

  • Firefox, Safari, or Chrome users can capture information by clicking a type specific icon. This icon appears near, or in, the browser address bar (Where http://www…. usually goes). 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. Clicking on a type specific icon provides more complete citation information than the two methods discussed below.

If an item specific icon does not appear…

  • Firefox plugin users can capture information by selecting the Create New Item from Current Page icon that appears on the top of Zotero’s in-set browser pane. Create Webpage Item from Current Page
    This function allows you to take a "snapshot" of your current webpage. Zotero gleans information (metadata) from webpages. This information provides the bibliographic data required for citations. When using the Create New Item from Current Page tool, Zotero only collects information provided by the site (often what is coded into the HTML), so some data fields may remain blank.
  • Or, to simply capture data from a webpage, in Firefox or Chrome right click anywhere on the page and select Zotero followed by Create Web Page Item from Current Page. If using the Safari plugin, you must press Command and simultaneously click anywhere on the webpage to access the Zotero menu.

Importing Citations

References can be imported into Zotero that were exported from databases or other reference managers.

If exporting from another reference manager, make sure to first export your references 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…

  • Select the grey cog icon.Actions Icon
  • Then choose Import.
  • Browse to find your file.

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: 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.

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.



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