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Citation Management with Zotero — Get Started

Learn to use Zotero, a free, open-source citation management tool.

On this page:

  • Install Zotero & Register Your Account 
  • Edit Basic Preferences 
  • Configure Our "Library Links" in Preferences 
  • Store Digital Files Using Zotero 
  • Backup Your Library 

Install Zotero & Register Your Account

Zotero 6.0 is the current version of Zotero. It's a standalone program, or "client," that works in conjunction with a browser extension or "Connector."

The installation process requires two steps.

  1. Download Zotero for your operating system.
  2. Install Zotero Connector for the browser or browsers you use. Connectors are available for Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

After installing Zotero and any Connectors, register for your Zotero account.

If you'd like to use Zotero with other browsers or on mobile, you'll need the Zotero Bookmarklet.

Edit Basic Preferences

Open up Zotero and go to Edit → Preferences (Windows/Linux) or Zotero → Preferences (Mac) to make some basic modifications to Zotero's functionality.

A screenshot of opening the edit menu. There's an arrow that points to preferences.
Sync icon

  • Sync (this is important!)
    • If you haven't already done so, enter your account information to ensure your Zotero library automatically syncs online and to any other computers on which you've installed the client. Zotero stores a copy of your library on the server and check it for updates whenever you open your library on a different computer. All your computers must be running the same version of Zotero and be configured to sync to the server.

Export icon

  • Export 
    • Set your default citation style using the drop-down menu.

Cite icon

  • Cite
    • Under Styles, use the Get additional Styles... link to add any citation styles not currently listed in the Style Manger.
    • Under Word Processors, install the Microsoft Word and/or LibreOffice add-in, so you can cite as you write.

You may also want to modify the size of the standard display font. To make this change, go to View → Font Size.

A screenshot of the program showing the View menu with Font Size selected.

Configure Our "Library Links" in Preferences

Zotero offers a Lookup tool to help you get to the full-text of articles for which you have only a citation in Zotero. Located near the top right of the Zotero client, it looks like a green arrow pointing to the right. The lookup drop-down menu includes Google Scholar and CrossRef by default, but you can add our library's full-text linking, too. This works just like the UCONN Full Text button in our library databases. 

  1. Go to your Zotero Preferences and choose the "Advanced" tab.

    Advanced icon
  2. Under "OpenURL," in the "Resolver:" box, paste this link:

    Image of the Zotero Preferences box with an arrow pointing to the OpenURL Resolver box.

  3. Now click "OK" at the bottom to save your settings.

Store Digital Files Using Zotero

One of the best features of Zotero is the way it automatically pulls in digital files, such as PDFs. Zotero offers 300 MB of free storage; after that, they have a tiered pricing plan.

ZotFile is a Zotero plugin that allows you to store your files elsewhere on the cloud, such as your UConn OneDrive account or on Google Drive.

Back Up Your Library

Zotero strongly recommends you back up your data in addition to syncing it.