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Citation Management with Zotero

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

Zotero's Layout

Zotero is laid out in three main sections. Your Web Library at looks largely the same.

At the top of the Zotero client is the menu bar.

The Navigation Pane

The left-hand pane is the navigation pane. It includes your libraries and collections as well as the Tag Selector.

The toolbar above the navigation pane includes buttons for creating a new collection and a new group library.

The Center Pane

The center pane is where your references live. It displays whatever items are in the navigation area you've selected, such as My Library or a specific collection. Some information columns are displayed in the center pane by default; to add or remove columns, right-click on the label at the top of any of the columns.

The toolbar above the center pane at the left-hand edge has several buttons, including the magic wand, to add a reference using its unique identifier, and the magnifying glass, to perform an advanced search. At the right-hand edge of the center pane is the basic search box.

The Details Pane

The right-hand pane is the details pane. When you select a reference in the center pane, the details pane displays information about it in the Info tab. There are other tabs besides Info, such as Notes and Tags.

The toolbar above the details pane includes the Locate menu, which looks like a green arrow pointing to the right, and the Sync button, which looks like a green arrow curving into a circle. Your Zotero library syncs frequently with, but you can force a refresh of that data immediately with the Sync button.