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Using Zotero

What is Zotero?

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free bibliographic citation management software that allows you to save, collect, manage, cite, and share research sources. It works right in your browser, making it easy to save citations while you search. You can also take notes in Zotero, allowing you to store your reactions to a source right next to its citation. Use the Zotero word processor plugins to easily cite your sources and create a bibliography while you work.

With Zotero you can:

  • Store references in one place
  • Keep reading notes linked to sources (no more index cards!)
  • Download citations directly from databases
  • Automatically format bibliographies and citations in MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style, and thousands of other styles using Microsoft Word and Open Office
  • Access your Zotero library from any location and remotely back up and sync your library

(NOTE: Though Zotero will save you lots of time in the creation of footnotes/in-text citations and bibliographies, it's always a good idea to proofread your work. Also, see the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) to access online resources about the major citation style guides.)



  1. Install Zotero
  2. Install the word-processor plugin for your word processor (Word or Open Office)
  3. Configure your Citation Style to whichever style you want to use (e.g. Chicago, MLA, etc.)
  4. Configure backups and/or synchronize your Zotero bibliographic data with another computer.

HSU Library Workshops


This guide is a collection of material from the following guides: