Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citation Management Software: Zotero

What is Zotero?


Zotero is a free citation management tool that stores, organizes, and cites your references conveniently all in one place. Referenced items are added to your collections and can be synced with the Zotero website. Zotero offers 300MB of free online storage and you have the option to purchase additional storage.

Setting Preferences

After installing Zotero and the Chrome connector, you should set the program's preferences.

MS Word Add-in

•Inside Zotero, click on Tools, select Preferences
•Click on the Cite Tab
•Press to Install Word Add-in
•Check the box in front of  ‘Use classic Add Citation dialog
•When you open word Zotero is on the Word menu bar

PDF Indexer

•Zotero can index your PDF attachments and make them fully searchable
•Click on Tools, Select Preferences
•Click on the Search tab.
•Press the ‘Check for Installer’ button
•The pdf indexer will install.

Syncing Zotero

•Register for a Zotero online account.
•Note your user name and email can be different.
•You will be prompted to check your email to click on an account validation link sent from Zotero.
•In Zotero, click on Tools, Select Preferences
•Click on the Sync Tab
•Type in your username and password

Amazing Zotero!

Installing Zotero

Zotero Standalone

Zotero program to use with Chrome & Safari
  • Go to
  • Click on red ‘Download Now’ button  
  • Click on ‘Download Zotero for Windows’ button
  • File will begin to download in lower left corner
  • Click on down arrow next to downloaded file
  • Select Open.
  • You will be asked if you want to Run this file. Press Run. File will be extracted
  • Window will appear asking for admin access. Press No.
  • Wait a minute. Setup Wizard window will appear. Press Next.
  • Standard install. Press Next.
  • Location for file. Press Install.
  • Press Finish.
  • Zotero will open up.

Installing Chrome Connector

Chrome will need a connector or plugin to be installed to work with the Zotero Standalone program.

1. Go to

2. Click on the red 'Download Now' button

3. On the right side, under Zotero Standalone, click on the Chrome button.

4. You are at the Google Chrome store. You will be installing the Chrome Connector. On the upper right, click on the blue  ‘Add to Chrome’ button.

5. The connector will be installed.

Organizing Collections

Click the folder icon  at the top left of the Zotero windowto create a new collection or folder.  To fill the collection/folder, you can:

  • Drag items from the center pane into the collection/folder.
  • Click on the folder to select it, then add new citations from database searches.  These "new" citations are saved in whichever folder is highlighted.

Important Notes About Folders:

  • Citations are automatically saved to your "My Library" folder.  You can also copy a citation to as many different folders as you like, but the citation is always part of the over-all "My Library" folder.
  • If you delete a citation from your "My Library" folder, the citation is moved to the Trash folder.
  • If you delete a citation from another folder, the citation will no longer show up in that folder, but IS still part of your "My Library" folder.