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Zotero: Overview

How to effectively use Zotero, the citation management system

Welcome! This guide is designed to simplify your citation activities by introducing Zotero (pronouced Zoh-TAIR-oh). The power of Zotero comes from its ability to collect, organize, and generate citations. Used effectively, Zotero can save time when you are creating in-text citations and works cited lists or bibliographies to describe your research process. 

Follow the tabbed links above for step-by-step instructions and tips. And remember, your librarians love this stuff and are always here to answer your research questions. Set up a personal or group consultation with the scholarly communication librarian by emailing

Don't like Zotero?

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free citation management software that can help you organize and reference research articles and other resources you find online.   

Why use Zotero?

Zotero can:

  • Put research articles you find online into your Zotero Library with one click,
  • Keep many types of research materials organized in one place (including PDFs and citation details),
  • Create in-text citations, Works Cited lists, or bibliographies in the correct citation style (like APA or MLA),
  • Sync across multiple computers, and
  • Share your research lists with colleagues or students.

Over time, you will build up an impressive Zotero Library that reflects your scholarly interests and courses. Through your Zotero Library, you'll have perpetual access to articles and helpful web sites that have helped you in the past. 

Install Zotero

Install Zotero

To use Zotero, install two things:

  1. The Zotero application itself
  2. A connector to allow your browser to save citations to Zotero

Go to the Zotero download page to get the app and the connector. 

zotero download page


Want to use Zotero with your word processor? Install Zotero Word Processor plugins, too. The Cite in Documents page in this guide has instructions for installing and using Zotero's plugin for Word (with a video tutorial) and Google Docs. 

Scholarly Communications Librarian

Jennifer Jensen's picture
Jennifer Jensen
Milne Library 128

Creative Commons License

Librarians and educators: This page uses ideas from a guide created by Jason Puckett and licensed by Georgia State University Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License. Our thanks to Jason and GSU!

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included.  We encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.