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J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

Zotero: Zotero

Zotero Software

Zotero is a free, open-source tool that is available for download from

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Librarians are available to answer your questions. Click on the Ask Us bubble for FAQs and contact options (chat, email, text, phone).

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use, yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways.

Zotero can help you:

  • Annotate and organize research results, including video
  • Save information about a reference, including author, title, and other publication information
  • Create libraries, save searches, and share collections with other people
  • Attach files, links, notes, and PDFs to records
  • Store a screenshot of a web page
  • Export information as formatted citations in word processing programs (Word, Google Docs)
  • Tag records, sort them, and perform advanced searches
  • View records in personal collection when offline
  • Cite records in any language

Zotero works as both an add-on for the Firefox browser (web version) and via a standalone version (installed on your computer). Zotero also adds functionality to Microsoft Word, LibreOfficeOpenOffice, and NeoOfficer Windows) through a citation plugin.

When used as an extension of your browser, Zotero integrates tightly with online resources; it can sense when users are viewing a book, article, or other object on the web, and—on many major research and library sites—find and automatically save the full reference information for the item in the correct fields. Since it lives in the web browser, it can effortlessly transmit information to, and receive information from, other web services and applications. And since it runs on one’s personal computer, it can also communicate with software running there (such as Microsoft Word). It can be used offline as well (e.g., on a plane, in an archive without WiFi).

For many major databases and websites, Zotero senses when a list of books or articles is displayed by showing an icon in the address bar, so citation information can be saved with just a few clicks:

For additional information on adding content to Zotero, view the Zotero with library databases tab in this guide.

Zotero Quick Start Guide

New to Zotero?  We recommend checking out the training links on, especially this Quick Start Guide and Zotero's Screencast Tutorials.