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Citation Management Software - Zotero

A guide to getting started with Zotero, a free, open source citation management tool.

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Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) License

This guide has a Creative Commons BY-NC License.

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This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

About Zotero

Zotero logo 

Zotero is a free, open source desktop application that allows you to collect, organize, cite, and share research. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. This guide has information on how to get started with using Zotero, from installing the application and its plugins, to adding sources to your library, to generating in-text citations and reference lists. 

Install Zotero

Go to www.zotero.org, click on "Log in," and register for a free account. 

Go to www.zotero.org/download to download the Zotero desktop application and browser extension (Zotero Connector) for your Internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari). 

Zotero download page

Sync Zotero

Once you have the Zotero desktop application downloaded to your computer, you can set up syncing by signing in using your Zotero username and password. Syncing allows you to access your Zotero library from any computer. Zotero provides you with 300 MB of free storage. You can purchase additional storage space on the Zotero website. 

1. Click on Preferences under the Edit menu:

Screenshot of Zotero edit menu

 

2. Click Sync and enter your Zotero username and password, and click Set Up Syncing:

Screenshot of Zotero sync settings

 

3. Click on the "Sync with zotero.org" icon in the upper right-hand corner to sync your Zotero library:

Screenshot of sync icon in Zotero

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