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Content for this guide has been provided by the University of Illinois Library.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free citation management software plugin for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.

It enables users to collect, manage, and cite research from all types of sources. It is easy to use, lives in your web browser where you do your work. Zotero allows you to attach PDF's, notes, images and screenshots to your citations, to organize them into collections for different projects, and to create bibliographies using Word or OpenOffice.

Zotero can detect what type of resource you are viewing online, including articles, books, and webpages. You can then use it to find and save the full reference information. If the source is an online article or web page, Zotero can optionally store a copy of the source (such as PDF's). You can then add notes, tags, and related resources.

Because it is a browser add-on, it automatically updates itself periodically to work with new online sources and new bibliographic styles.

To use Zotero, you can either download Zotero for Firefox, which is a browser extension, or Zotero Standalone, which runs as a separate application but plugs into your choice of browser. You must download Zotero Standalone if you are using Chrome or Safari. Standalone includes the plugins for Word and OpenOffice. You can also download plugins for Word/OpenOffice.

For more help, see this official Zotero Guide.

Comparing Zotero to Other Citation Managers

If you're interested in comparing Zotero to other major citation managers, check out the follow links:

Be sure to check the Savvy Researcher calendar so you can check our citation management overview workshop, "Choosing a Citation Manager" and other workshops on the tools in this guide. 

Getting Started