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Zotero Citation Software

A Guide to Getting Started and Using Zotero

Zotero Introduction

This guide will focus on providing the basics on installing and using Zotero. It will be brief, using bullet points to walk users through the various processes and settings. Should you wish to know more about Zotero or have questions about more in depth features regarding Zotero, you may ask a librarian but one of the best places to go is the Zotero Forums.

  Check out Zotero's Forums

What is Zotero?

"Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources," (, 2015).

"Zotero organizes your research into collections that act like iTunes playlists. Research items can be added to any number of named collections and subcollections, which in turn can be organized however you like. With saved searches, you can create smart collections that automatically fill with relevant materials as you add them to your library," (, 2015).

"Assign tags to your library items to organize your research using your own keywords. The tag selector enables you to filter your library instantly to view matching items. Zotero can even use database and library data to tag items automatically as you add them," (, 2015).

 Learn more at

Why Does the HJF Recommend Zotero?

Here are our top 5 reasons why we recommend and use Zotero.

  1. Zotero is open source and free to download and use.
  2. Allows for thousands of different citation styles.
  3. Browser extensions allows for easy one click save of citation information from the web.
  4. Works great for PDF and document management.
  5. Has a robust web library and syncing options available.

There's a ton that Zotero can do and a lot of additional options. We will discuss a few in this guide and mention many of them. You can always check out Zotero's Forums for more information and help with using the software.