Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Zotero Student Guide: Intro to Zotero

Zotero basics!

How to get started with Zotero

Zotero works by saving articles from journals, websites, and images directly from your web browser into the Zotero application on your computer. You also have the option of syncing your Zotero library to a free online Zotero account, functionally storing what you cite in cloud storage. This is optional but strongly recommended. Your Zotero "library" is saved in the event your laptop/device is lost, damaged, or stolen.

Step 1: Download Zotero.

Step 2: Install Zotero connector for either Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Step 3 (optional): create your free Zotero account, and then link your account to your Zotero application (instructions under the “Data Syncing” heading).

Step 4: Get familiar with saving items and files to Zotero.

Step 5: Start researching with the handy Zotero Basics guide.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. Zotero can help you clip and cite books, articles, video clips, mp3 files, images, web pages and other resources and lets you choose from thousands of different citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, e.g.). You can link Zotero to Google Docs and Microsoft Word (and other applications) to automatically generate a bibliography from the items you want to cite.

There are many citation tools available, but Zotero is a great choice if:

  • Are using more than 10 sources.
  • Are using a variety of source types.
  • Use Google Docs or MS Word to write your papers.