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Citation Management with Zotero

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

Video Tutorial: Viewing & Editing References

This video shows the basics of viewing and editing references in Zotero.

Edit References

To edit information associated with a reference, select it in the center pane.

In the details pane, click in the field you wish to modify and make any desired changes. Keep in mind there is no undo button once you click away from the field! That change is permanent.

Locate the Full Text of References

The Locate menu is accessible from the green arrow at the top of the details pane. There are three options:

Library Lookup:

If you configured the link resolver (see the Getting Started with Zotero section of this guide), Library Lookup will help you find and access the reference in full text, or assist you in placing an interlibrary loan request for the item.

CrossRef Lookup

If your reference includes a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), this option will find the source online. This will not necessarily find you a free copy of the full text, however, so Library Lookup is a better option.

Google Scholar Search

This performs a Google Scholar search for the full title of the reference and the first author's first and last names. If there's no match, try removing some of the information from the Google Scholar search box and perform the search again. Like CrossRef Lookup, this may not take you to a free full text version of the item.

View or Hide Attachments

Your references display in the center pane, each as a single line, with a > symbol (hereafter, the arrow) indicating there are attachments, such as snapshots, files, or notes. To view the attachments for a single item, tap the arrow to the left of the reference.

To view attachments for all the items currently in the center pane, select one item, then hold down Shift and press + (the plus sign) on your keyboard simultaneously.

To collapse all items, press just - (the minus sign) on your keyboard (do not use the Shift key).

Capitalization Style in Title or Publication

To automatically modify the capitalization of a reference's title or publication name, select the item in the center pane. In the details pane, right-click the Title or Publication and choose Title Case or Sentence case. Keep in mind that you may still have to modify things like proper nouns, conjunctions, or words after a colon manually.

Add Notes to References

You can add an unlimited number of notes to any reference. Notes can be formatted like a Word document and can include images and links. The notes will appear as attachments and are fully searchable.

To create a note, select a reference in the center pane and then tap the Notes tab in the details pane. Use the Add button to create a new note.

You can also right-click a reference to add a note, or tap the sticky note icon in the toolbar above the center pane.

To navigate away from your note, simply select a reference or collection.