Zotero QuickStart Guide
Zotero is "a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself." If you're looking for an alternative to RefWorks or EndNote, you may want to give Zotero a try. (Zotero has their own Quick Start Guide on their site as well.)
- Go to zotero.org and click the big red Download button.
- You'll get a warning that reads, "Firefox prevented this site (www.zotero.org) from asking you to install software on your computer." Click the Allow button.(Don't worry - Zotero won't eat your computer.)
- Click Install Now
- Click Restart Firefox to finish installing Zotero.
- Woo hoo - Zotero's installed! Let's use it!
Using Zotero with SearchWorks
- Go to http://searchworks.stanford.edu and perform a search. For this example, we'll be using a title search to find the Handbook of Online Learning.
- Click the title of your result.
- A small blue book icon will appear in your address bar. Click it!
- Zotero saves the item to your library.
Using Zotero with Databases
Zotero also can save references from databases such as Academic Search Premier
- Enter your search terms
- Select an article
- Click the icon in the address bar to save the citation to your library.
- Zotero saves the citation to your library.
Working with Your Zotero Library
- Click the Zotero logo at the bottom right of your browser window to open your library.
- You have several options to add information to each item record:
- Info: The bibliographic information, used in citations and bibliographies.
- Notes: Jot down any supplemental thoughts here.
- Attachments: You can use this to attach a file, such as the PDF version of an article.
- Tags: Use tags to categorize your references.
- Related: Use this tab to define relationships between resources.
Creating a Bibliography
- Right-click the resource you would like to cite (hold down ctrl (Windows) or cmd (Mac) to select multiple items).
- Choose your preferred citation style and choose Copy to Clipboard from the dialog box
- In your word processing program, Paste the citation(s) into your paper.
- Presto! A properly-formatted reference list appears!
Using the Word Processor Plugin
You can install the optional word processor plugins to further integrate Zotero with your paper writing. Plugins are available for Word 2000 and later on Windows and Mac OS X, and for OpenOffice and NeoOffice.
Installing the plugin gives you a Zotero toolbar:
From which you can insert and edit citations, and insert and edit your bibliography (aka "References").
Syncing Your Library
Zotero also allows you to backup and sync your Zotero library with your account on zotero.org
- Register for a free account on zotero.org (you also can log in with an OpenID account).
- Open your Zotero preferences
- Go to the Sync tab, enter your zotero.org user name and password in the Zotero Sync Server section, and close the preferences window.
- Click the sync button to sync your library
Configuring Duplicate Detection
This is a "hidden feature".
In the Firefox address bar, type about:config
Right-click (control-click on a Mac) anywhere in the preferences window and choose New->Boolean.
Enter the following for the preference name:
and click OK
Choose true for the value and click OK
In the Firefox gear menu, you should now have the Show Duplicates option.
Finding Full-Text Articles Online
You can use Zotero to find full-text versions of articles online (a.k.a., "Find it @ Stanford").
Click the gear icon and choose Preferences...
Go to the Advanced tab and enter the following URL in the Resolver: field under OpenURL:
Then, when looking at the Info tab for a reference, click the Locate button:
You'll be taken directly to the Find it @ Stanford screen, where you can choose from a number of different sources for full-text availability:
Once you've created a free account on zotero.org, you can collaborate with others using Zotero Groups. You can create your own group, making membership open or closed. Group members can then create shared libraries, including attached documents (only available to closed groups).
More Zotero Resources
- Join the "Reference Manager Users" mailing list at Stanford
- Zotero.org Quick Start Guide
- Zotero.org Documentation page.
- University of Michigan tutorial. (PDF)