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Citations: Zotero: Getting Started

Zotero is free, easy to use software that helps you save, manage, and cite research sources.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a way to save the sources you find including journal articles, books and book chapters, images, videos, websites, and more.

Using Zotero you can

  • Save and organize research sources
  • Create in-text citations in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice
  • Sync your references for online access on any device
  • Create a bibliography with a single click

Getting Started with Zotero



Quickly generate a bibliography at ZoteroBib, no Zotero account or download needed.

Quick Start Guide

Download Zotero

Download Zotero for free from

Step 1: Download the Zotero application and install on your computer.

Step 2: Download the browser connector for your preferred browser. If you have Word, make sure it is closed so the Zotero toolbar can be added to it.

screenshot of Zotero 5.0 download

Step 3: Create a free Zotero account to back up and access your research library from anywhere. 

Step 4: Sync your account with the Zotero app. Instructions for syncing will be in the registration confirmation email.


Add items to your Zotero library

This short video covers how to add individual resources to your library, saving several items at once from a database search, and how to add a PDF already saved on your computer to a citation in Zotero.

"Zotero: Saving References to Your Library" by Jason Puckett, Georgia State University Library, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License.


Create a bibliography

Creating a formatted bibliography from sources stored in your Zotero library is quick and easy. Just follow the steps below!

Step 1: In Zotero, select the resources to include in your bibliography (CMD+click on Mac or Shift+click on PC).

screenshot of Zotero library with citations selected

Step 2: Right click on one of the selected sources. This will bring up a menu. Select "Create Bibliography from Items..."

Zotero right-click menu

Step 3: Select the format of the bibliography. In this example, MLA is selected. Selecting "Save as RTF" creates a file that can be opened in any word processor.

citation style selection dialogue box

Step 4: It's a good idea to check that the information in the bibliography is correct, spelled correctly, etc. Once it has been saved, you can then open it, copy and paste it into your assignment, or share it.

screenshot of formatted bibliography in word processor

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