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Footnotes, Bibliographies & Citation Tools: Zotero

This guide will help you get started using citations in your academic writing, and teach you the basics about Citation Management Software.

Setting Up and Using Zotero

What is Zotero?

  • An extension for the Firefox web-browser.
  • It runs in its own pane within Firefox, separately from web pages.
  • Sets up a "Library" of references (called "items") on your hard drive. Users can attach files, notes, and/or links to individual items. Particularly good at gleaning information from the Internet as you research online.

To Get Started

  • Go to your Firefox browser and download the Zotero extension (a small bit of software that works with Firefox).
  • Restart Firefox. You should see the Zotero logoin the bottom right corner of your Firefox window.
  • Take the Video Tour and learn the basics.

Importing References

  • If Zotero will "capture" reference info it finds on Websites and save it, sometimes also saving attachments, such as full-text pdfs.
  • Importing an RIS file from a database, etc.
  • Saving very basic data about a Webpage.
  • Searching the Web for source information based on a pdf file you already have on your computer.
  • Searching the Web for source information according to a DOI number, an ISBN number, etc.
  • Manually entering references.

Using Zotero's Word Processor Plugins

A software add-on for your word processor program (like Word or Google Docs) -- Insert citations in your document as you write & auto-generate a bibliography.