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Citation Management with Zotero

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

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free citation management tool that allows you to...zotero logo

  • save and organize references for all types of sources
  • collect digital copies of sources, such as PDF files
  • share reference libraries collaboratively with other users
  • create bibliographies in a wide range of citation formats
  • cite sources automatically in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and more

The Zotero website can be found here:

Should I use it?

Organizing and citing sources can be challenging. Zotero can help! Like any tool, it has a learning curve, but it's fairly intuitive and free to use. There is plenty of online documentation, and librarians can assist you with it, so it may be a good choice for you.

Will Zotero make all my citations accurate?

Accurate citations depend upon accurate data. Zotero, like any other citation manager, will produce citations based on the data it has. If there are errors or omissions in that data, the citations will be incomplete or inaccurate. Any time you see a mistake in a reference when importing or while writing, be sure to fix the original reference in Zotero to ensure it will be correct next time you use it.

What if my references are already another citation management tool?

It's relatively easy to export your references from another citation management tool. There is online documentation and your librarians can help.

It's essential to note that any documents you've created using another citation manager will not be compatible with Zotero. You'll need to create new documents and insert new citations using Zotero.

Is Zotero Right for You?

This brief video may help you decide whether to use Zotero as your citation management tool.

Still not sure? See a comparison chart, other informational handouts, and a video about RefWorks: