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Zotero Citation Manager

What Zotero Does

Zotero (pronounced "zoh-TAIR-oh") is an application that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use, connects with your web browser to download sources, and best of all it's free.

Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies.

It automatically updates itself periodically to work with new online sources and new bibliographic styles.

Zotero at the Library

You can find Zotero and the Microsoft Word plug-in installed in all computers in the library.

As of July 10, 2017, Zotero 5 is now available. Zotero 5 is a major new version of Zotero and will especially affect users who previously used the Zotero for Firefox extension. Read more about Zotero 5 on the Zotero website. Zotero for Firefox extension users will need to update to Zotero 5. Download Zotero 5.0 and make sure to download the browser extension as well.

Installing Zotero

1) Go to the Zotero Download page at in one of the supported internet browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari).

2) There's a different version for each operating system: Windows, Mac or Linux. Choose the right version for your computer.

3) Download a browser Connector to allow your web browser to save citations to your Zotero library.You may be prompted to restart your browser to install.

Each browser has its own version of the Zotero connector, so if you use both Chrome and Safari you'll need to install both.

If you previously used the Zotero for Firefox extension, you will now need to update to Zotero 5. Here are some of the steps you may encounter as you download Zotero 5.

1. When you open Zotero for Firefox and sync your library, you may see a message letting you know your version of Zotero is out of date. Click okay - don't worry - your data will be fine.

2. Use the download directions to download the new version of Zotero. It is possible you will need to go through the Set Up Wizard twice to successful activate your new version of Zotero.

3. When your new Zotero 5 library opens, you will be prompted to sync your library. Use the sync icon in the upper right-hand corner of your Zotero library.

4. Enter your Zotero username and password in the sync dialog box then click okay (on Macs, just close the dialog box).

5. After entering your username and password, click the sync arrow again to sync your account.

6. You may be prompted to resolve conflicts between items from your old and new library. Choose the item that has the best data. Often the items are identical.

7. After setting up your Zotero library, try adding a new source to your Zotero library using the new Zotero 5 browser extension. If you previously used Zotero for Firefox, you will see a Z in the upper right-hand corner of your browser rather than a folder icon. Click the Z.

8. The Z will switch to a folder icon, and you can now continue adding sources to your Zotero library just like you did with the previous version of Zotero.

You can use Zotero on the iPad browser by installing a "Bookmarklet," a special link that saves items directly to your Zotero account on the web.

You must have a Zotero account, and your iPad must be online, to use Zotero.

  1. Open in your iPad browser and bookmark it.
  2. Click “iPhone/iPad” and copy the code from the text box on the page.
  3. Edit the bookmark you just created.
  4. Change the bookmark name to "Save to Zotero".
  5. Paste the code from the text box as the URL for the bookmark.


When you're on a page with a citation, select the Save to Zotero bookmark. The iPad browser will save the citation directly to your Zotero library online.

Add the bookmark

Edit the bookmark

Click to save


Creative Commons License Content on this guide was originally created by Jason Puckett and licensed by Georgia State University Library as well as Hannah Gascho Rempel and licensed by Oregon State University Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommerical 3.0 United States License. It has been adapted and added to for the Zotero Research Guide at DVC.