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Using Zotero

What is Zotero?

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a powerful, free and open source tool that is designed to make your life easier. It is used to collect, organize, annotate, and cite sources that you come across during your research. Zotero allows you to quickly save sources from various sites and databases into one account, and quickly generates bibliographies and in-text citations in the correct citation style. 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.

Why use Zotero?

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.)

Zotero Download

Zotero 5.0 available

Zotero users should read the blog post on the release of Zotero 5.0 and changes to the program. The biggest change is the move from Zotero as a Firefox extension to a standalone application.


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