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Citation Managers: Zotero

An overview and comparison of different citation managers, including EndNote Web, Zotero, Mendeley, and EasyBib.

About Zotero

Zotero is a FREE citation tool that you add to your web browser, or use as a standalone application.


Key features:

  • Add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
  • Mac and PC compatible.
  • Add items from websites, library catalog and databases, PDFs, audio, video, and image files.
  • Export citations to MS Word, LibreOffice.
  • Citation styles include MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, and many others.

Useful Links

Getting Started

You have two options for using Zotero:

1) Download Firefox Extension (for Macs and PCs)

Choose this option if you exclusively use Firefox or if you have a PC.

  • Go to the Zotero download page.
  • Click the link on the left to download Zotero 4.0 for Firefox.
  • A window will pop up asking permission to install Zotero.  Click the Install Now button to install. 
  • Restart Firefox once the installation is complete.  Once restarted, you will be prompted to register.  Registering allows you to save your data on Zotero servers (Zotero data, not attached PDFs, audio, video files), which means you can access it from anywhere using the web interface.  For more info about this, see Zotero Syncing.

Verify the Zotero web importer is installed by looking for the following menu in Firefox:

Download the plugin for using Zotero with MS Word or LibreOffice.  Verify that the plugin is installed by opening MS Word and clicking on the Scripts icon, where you should see this:

On a PC, the MS Word plugin is listed as a toolbar on the Add-on menu, where you should see the following:

 

2) Download Standalone Version for Mac (Mac only)

Choose this option if you have a Mac AND you want the flexibility of using your choice of Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, or Safari).

  • Go to the Zotero download page.
  • In the Zotero Standalone section on the right, download Zotero 4.0 for Mac and follow instructions to install the program on your Mac. 
  • Also, select and download the browser extension you would like to use (Firefox, Chrome, or Safari).
  • The MS Word plugin is included with the Zotero Standalone version.  Verify that it is installed using the instructions above.