Zotero: Zotero

This guide will help you use the free online citation and research management tool Zotero to organize citations from Library catalogs and databases.

Getting Started with Zotero

Zotero  was first developed as a Firefox extension and can be quickly added to Firefox by visiting zotero.org and clicking on the red "Download Now" button. Click the “Zotero 4.0 for Firefox” link. After installation, restart Firefox. You should now see the Zotero logo () in the status bar in the right bottom corner of your Firefox browser window and click to launch.

zotero interface

Collections: The left column includes My Library, which contains all items. Clicking the button above the left column creates a new collection, a folder into which items rleating to a specific project or topic can be placed.

Below that is the tag selector, where tags assigned to items can be added or removed.

Items: The items pane displays a list of all the items in each collection with icons that indicate the type of item (book, article, thesis, screenshot, etc.).

Item Details: This pane displays the bibliographic information that was imported by Zotero for each item. There are also options to add additional notes, attachments, links to the original sources, tags, and subject headings.

Zotero Standalone

If you prefer another browser to Firefox, Zotero offers a Standalone option. It operates almost identically to the Zotero for Firefox extension, but cannot offer some advance features, like automatic proxy redirection and automatically importing file attachments when websites are accessed through a web proxy.

In order to scrape bibliographic metadata from websites, Zotero Standalone needs to communicate with the browser you are using, which can be done by installing a Zotero Connector:

  • Chrome, Safari, or Opera connectors can be installed by following the respective download links under the Zotero Standalone download button.

zotero standalone

  • Firefox can also be used with Zotero Standalone, using Zotero for Firefox. The Firefox extension is somewhat unique, because, while it is a full-featured Zotero application, it will automatically act as a Connector for Zotero Standalone if Zotero Standalone is open.
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