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Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free application that collects, manages, and formats citations and bibliographies. Zotero also helps organize your research by allowing you to attach PDFs, notes, and images to your references. You can arrange your sources into collections for different projects and tag them for easy searching.

News | Workshop schedule and sign up | Download options | Setting up Zotero Preferences | Save your articles when using Pay Per View | Online tutorials | Documentation | Creating groups | Troubleshooting


Workshops — Spring 2015

Sign up here for one of the spring workshops.

Zotero workshops are held in the Frost library, Lane room *

Monday, February 9, 10-11 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 1-2 PM
Thursday, February 12, 5-6 PM
Wednesday, February 18, 10-11 AM
Monday, February 24, 4-5PM
Wednesday, February 25, 2-3 PM

Download Options

Get Zotero

We recommend downloading the most current version of the standalone application.

  1. Install the standalone version.
  2. Install the appropriate connector for your browser of choice (Firefox, Chrome, or Safari).


Setting up Zotero Preferences

Data Syncing
Data syncing merges library items, notes, links, tags, etc. between your local computer and the Zotero servers, allowing you to work with your data from any computer with Zotero installed. It also allows you to view your library online on

  1. The first step to syncing your Zotero library is to create a Zotero account (which is also used for the Zotero Forums).
  2. Click on the gear icon In use at:  Library » Research » How to Cite » Zotero. and select "Preferences".
  3. Open Zotero's Sync tab and enter your login information in the Zotero Sync Server section. By default, Zotero will sync your data with the server whenever changes are made. To disable automatic syncing, uncheck the “Sync automatically” checkbox in this section.


Set up the location for storing data on your computer
It is important to know where the data is stored on your computer in case you ever need to reload your library from a backup. The default for the Zotero folder is not always intuitive (especially on Macs). Choose a file location that makes sense to you. Note: If you frequently use lab computers, you can map the location to your U:Drive so you can easily access your library from any lab computer. 

  1. Create a folder on your computer called "Zotero" (or whatever makes sense to you) in your documents folder, your U:Drive, or wherever seems logical.
  2. Click on the gear icon In use at:  Library » Research » How to Cite » Zotero. and select "Preferences".
  3. Click on the "Advanced" tab.
  4. Click on the "Files and Folders" tab.
  5. Under "Data Directory Location", select "Custom".
  6. Click on "Choose" and locate the folder you created.
  7. Click OK and restart Zotero.  


Set up Zotero to use AC Links

  1. Click on the gear icon In use at:  Library » Research » How to Cite » Zotero. and select "Preferences".
  2. Click on the Advanced tab.
  3. Copy & paste the following into the "Resolver" field, under "OpenURL":
  4. Click the OK button.
  5. When you use the Locate button, Zotero will now use AC Links to find the item online.

The library has a Pay Per View (PPV) program for journals we used to get in big packages from Elsevier (ScienceDirect) and Wiley. The library will pay for individual articles that you view, rather than subscribe to hundreds of titles that weren’t used. You can use Zotero to save your article PDFs when you are using this service. You can attach .pdf files to citations in your Zotero library. You can also automatically generate citation data in your library from existing PDFs.

Online Tutorials
Zotero Screencasts

Workshop Presentation

Quick Start Guide (web page)
Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Complete Documentation

Creating groups
With Zotero groups, you collaborate remotely with project members, set up web-based bibliographies for classes, and more. Learn how to create, share and set access permission for your group.

Share your own work or sources you have discovered with others who are working in related areas.
Collaborate with colleagues, publicly or privately, on ongoing research.
Discover other people with similar interests and the sources they are citing.

Troubleshooting citation problems in your paper
When citing using Zotero, a few common problems can occur. Below are tips to deal with some of these.

Problem: Author names are cited inconsistently with full name instead of first initials.
Solution: This is typically caused by inconsistently applied author names in your Zotero Library. Search for the author’s name and change all occurrences to the same format. Zotero will now treat all occurrences as the same individual and not use the full name to disambiguate the names.

Problem: The same reference appears more than once in my bibliography and/or a citation isn’t using ibid in adjacent citations.
Solution: A reference may appear more than once in your Zotero Library. Duplicates in your Library will cause Zotero to think you have multiple different references even if they are identical. Remove the duplicates and make sure you re-cite that one consistently throughout your MS Word document.