Zotero is a
citation management tool that allows you to seamlessly collect, organize, and cite sources.
One of the main advantages of Zotero is the ability to collect whole documents (rather than just citations) and to “tag” these resources, and add notes to them. It is also quite easy to learn.
Zotero is a Firefox addon, which means that it:
1) is free for anyone!
2) is perfect for Firefox users, but only available via Firefox
3) is also perfect for laptop users because Zotero lives in your Firefox web browser, meaning you do not “log in” to it, as you would with RefWorks or most other citation management tools.
(Therefore, it is only transportable if you download it to a flash drive, open it, and use it from this location or use it from a network server location).
Zotero will run on any operating system.
Go to http://www.zotero.org/ and click “Download.” Then click “Install Now” and follow the instructions. If you see the message “Firefox prevented this site ….,” click “Edit Options,” then click “Allow” and “Close,” and try downloading Zotero again. Restart Firefox. A small Zotero icon should display at the bottom of your browser window.
Installing Microsoft Word citation plugin or OpenOffice plugin
Installing either of these tools will allow you to easily cite items from your Zotero library while you are writing papers.
Zotero enables you to save citations from many library databases, library catalogs, and regular web pages with just one click. On a search results screen, Zotero will display a folder icon. Click the folder icon to view a list of citations on the page and check the items you wish to save.
Organizing Your Library
Click the Zotero button at the bottom of your browser to open “My Library.” In the left-hand corner, there is a green plus sign. Click this icon to create a new “Collection.” Create collections to organize your citations. Collections are like file folders on your computer, but a citation can live in more than one Zotero collection at the same time.
Creating Your Bibliography
To create a bibliography from Zotero, select the citations or collections you want to include. Hold the control key and click to select multiple items. Right-click one of the selected items and choose “Create Bibliography.” Choose the citation style you want, and select the text format (RTF or HTML. RTF is compatible with all word processing programs).
Alternatively, you can just drag and drop citations from Zotero into your document. They will turn into formatted citations!
Adapted from the Zotero Research Guide of Jason Puckett, Emory University Libraries