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Zotero Citation Software

A Guide to Getting Started and Using Zotero

ZoteroBib or Zbib

ZoteroBib or Zbib is a relatively new offering from Zotero but an extremely handy one. Zbib is a temporary citation management system built entirely in the web and does not require an account with Zotero. It allows you to input citation information for your sources for fast easy bibliography/works cited creation. Because you do not need an account, there are some different ways to save your information which will be covered below, but it still can be done. However, there are features that you get in the Web Library and the desktop version of Zotero that are not available from Zbib including notes, attachments, adding related links between sources, and no plugins at all. You can also not use the browser connector with Zbib. Just think of Zbib as a quick and dirty citation manager for short term use.

Adding Items to Zbib

Here's how to use Zbib or Zoterobib.

  1. Go to
  2. Add some kind of identifying information for your source: ISBN, DOI, PMID, or just a title. Click Enter or click the blue Cite button.
  3. If you'd prefer, you can also add it manually by clicking the "Manual Entry" button below the search box.
  4. Now make sure you have the right citation style selected by clicking on the default setting of MLA and choosing the correct one for your purposes.
  5. After doing that, make sure that your citation is correct. You can also edit it by simply clicking on it to bring up the edit screen.
  6. Now you can either add an in-text citation or copy the bibliography. 
  7. To add an in-text citation, click on the double sheet of paper icon next to your source info.
  8. Then, depending on what style you are using, add the correct information and when finished, click copy. Now you can go into your document and paste the information in to the correct spot.
  9. To copy your bibliography/works cited/reference list, go down to the Export option and click "Copy to Clipboard". Then paste it into your document where it belongs.

The nice thing about Zbib is that you don't need an account and you can add more than one entry to this list. To add another, just go back up and follow the same steps. You can add as many sources as you want and then export the entire bibliography/works cited/reference list at the end. 

You can also create a linked version on Zbib. This will allow you to delete all your sources you added and still come back to them later. However, the linked version only lasts for a short amount of time on Zotero's servers if you do not use it regularly, so don't rely on this if you don't plan on coming back to it for some time. Linked versions are great for sharing the sources with other people, saving the URL/Link and coming back to it on a different computer and/or working on multiple source lists at a time. You can find more about using this option from Zotero.


Zbib stores all the data you use in your browser's cache. If you clear your cache, you will lose everything you had added to Zbib unless you create a linked version. Make sure to save those links in another document because if you lose it, you lose your work.