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Zotero: Introduction

A quick introduction to Zotero, including installation, organizing your library, exporting citations, and in-text citing


Zotero is a citation management program designed to collect, organize, and store references in a personal library. This guide will help get you started with Zotero by introducing some of its main features. While the interfaces look slightly different between a Mac and a PC, both versions function similarly. Zotero is an alternative to EndNote and may be preferable for Mac users and/or Google Docs users.

NOTE: This guide refers to the terms 'citations' and 'references' interchangeably.

Main Features

  • Store citations into a library.
  • Organize citations by creating groups.
  • Attach documents such as PDFs to citations in your library.
  • Annotate PDFs
  • Find full-text articles for the citations in your library.
  • Generate a bibliography that can be formatted in hundreds of different citation styles.
  • Insert in-text citations into your Microsoft Word document or Google Docs.

Getting Zotero

Zotero is a free, nonprofit, open source program with options for purchasing more data storage. You can download the software yourself by following the installation steps here.

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