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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 store and organize citation information for a variety of research resources, including journal articles, books and book chapters, images, videos, websites, and more.

With citation managers such as Zotero, you can

  • Save and organize resources
  • Build bibliographies with a single click
  • Create in-text citations and bibliographies within your Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice document
  • Sync your references between desktop and browser-based versions



ZoteroBib is a way to quickly generate a bibliography, no Zotero library, account or download needed.

Quick Start Guide

For a tutorial on how to use Zotero, click on this arrow or see the videos below.

Download Zotero

Download Zotero for free from

This short video from Georgia State University shows you how to download and install the Zotero application and web connector.

Set up and sync your Zotero account

Setting up an optional Zotero account is a free and easy way to access your citation library from anywhere. This video shows you how to set up and sync your Zotero account.

Add items to your Zotero library

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

Create a bibliography

Note: Use ZotBib [include link to last tab about ZotBib with instructions and link to ZotBib] to quickly create a formatted bibliography without creating a Zotero Library.

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).

Screen shot showing sources selected in Zotero

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

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. Once it has been saved, you can then open it, copy and paste it into your assignment, or share it.


Lean Library

The Merrill-Cazier Library at USU subscribes to Lean Library, a browser plug-in that alerts you when online content is available through the library while you are doing your research both on and off-campus. Lean Library works no matter how you do your research.


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