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Zotero Reference Management Software: Introduction to Zotero

This guide will go through what Zotero is and how to use it from the basics up to advanced features.

What is Zotero?

zotero logo with link to download the sfotwareZotero is a tool to make your life easier! Zotero is a reference manager software program that allows you to collect citations from sources of any type (books, articles, media, webpages, etc.), organise them, and create bibliographies automatically, in whatever citation style (MLA, APA, Chicago etc.) that you need. 

It takes all of the guesswork out of referencing and does it for you. 


Collect sources from anywhere.

Zotero is the only software that automatically senses research on the web. Need an article from JSTOR or a preprint from A news story from the New York Times or a book from a library? Zotero has you covered, everywhere.

Organize your citations.

Zotero helps you organize your research any way you want. You can sort items into collections and tag them with keywords. Or create saved searches that automatically fill with relevant materials as you work.

Cite in whatever style you need.

Zotero instantly creates references and bibliographies for any text editor, and directly inside Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs. With support for over 9,000 citation styles, you can format your work to match any style guide or publication.

Sync your citation library.

Zotero can optionally synchronize your data across devices, keeping your notes, files, and bibliographic records seamlessly up to date. If you decide to sync, you can also always access your research from any web browser.

Share and collaborate.

Zotero lets you work on a group project with others, share your reference list with friends, or build a collaborative bibliography. You can share a Zotero library with as many people you like, at no cost.


Rest easy.

Zotero is open source and developed by an independent, nonprofit organization that has no financial interest in your private information. With Zotero, you always stay in control of your own data.


Where can you use Zotero?

Zotero is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

Zotero works both in your web browser and as a program you download to your computer. 

There is a plugin for MS Word, Google Docs, and LibreOffice so that you can reference and create bibliographies right where you're writing. 

You can also create an account and access and sync your references online. 


Download Zotero

zotero logo with link to download the software



Click here or click the image above to go to Zotero's website and download the program. 


At the same time, download the "Zotero Connector" browser extension which allows you to collect a reference (& PDF where available) at the click of a button. 

The word processor plug-in is installed by default, so you don't need to do anything to use Zotero in MS Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice.

You can also create an account so that you can access and sync your references online. 

Advanced Functions

Click here to learn how to use advanced functions such as:

  • Organising your Zotero library using folders, tags, etc. 
  • Creating an annotated bibliography
  • Syncing your Zotero library across multiple computers
  • Creating a visual a timeline
  • Generating reports. 

When you save an article to your Zotero library, the PDF is automatically saved too, alongside all its information. Just double click the title in your Zotero library and the PDF will open.

Contact Us!

Please feel free to contact us about any question you have - about this subject or anything else you need help with. Library staff are available to provide help and answer queries online/remotely and in-person on Level 1 of the Library.

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