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Zotero is a citation manager. It helps you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. You can form groups to share citations and notes with other members. Faculty and graduate students who want to keep their citations organized, keep their bibliographies in sync with several users, and share their bibliographies with colleagues will find this tool particularly useful. 

The UVa library and SHANTI recommend using either Zotero or RefWorks as a citation manager. See the glossary definition for more information on RefWorks . To get a sense of the advantages and disadvantages of different citation managers, see the glossary definition of Citation Manager . Note that these guides serve as a basic introduction. Go to the Zotero website  for more detailed information on how to use Zotero.

Create quick projects with our tutorials

Step-by-Step Guides 

Start in Zotero
There are two options available for using Zotero: You can download and use Zotero as an extension of Firefox or as a standalone application for Chrome and Safari. Zotero for Firefox operates within Firefox itself. Zotero was originally designed as a Firefox add-on, so this option is the most reliable and offers the most features. Zotero Standalone operates independently from your browser doesn't have access to certain features that Zotero Firefox offers. In order for Zotero Standalone to interact with a browser, you must download a browser connector, which enables Zotero access to an item's bibliographic metadata that you can save to your library in Zotero. Consult the Zotero website for more information and instructions for downloading Zotero Firefox and Zotero Standalone.

Step-by-Step Guides

Create and Edit Citations
You can create citations in various ways using Zotero, such as importing bibliographic information to entering it manually. Collections are useful for organizing your citations. You can also use Zotero with word processors, such as Microsoft Word. For instructions on how to install and use the word processor plugins, please refer to the documentation offered on Zotero's website.  
Create Bibliographies
After you finish entering citations and organizing them into collections, you can create bibliographies. You can also use Zotero with word processors, such as Microsoft Word. For instructions on how to install and use the word processor plugins, please refer to the documentation offered on Zotero's website.
Attach Files
Keep more detailed records of your sources by adding attachments to your citations. Organize your citations further within collections by marking them with tags or by marking them as being related. To record miscellaneous information, attach a note to an individual citation. Zotero also allows you to attach files, such as pictures or word processing documents, to individual citations. Additionally, Zotero can automatically save copies of a PDF or snapshot of a web page and store them in the Zotero data directory. This feature can be changed in Preferences.
Integrate Other Tools
Zotero can be used in conjunction with other applications, essentially to move or copy citations to different places, including other citation managers and online bibliographies.



Zotero’s Group Library option is a way to share a Zotero collection with others. To use this option, you need to have created an account in Zotero. For more information on creating an account, see the Create a Zotero Account step-by-step guide.






Try this project!

Resource Collection
Here's a real-life example of Zotero for graduate studies: 

DeVan Ard, a PhD candidate in English at the University of Virginia, is writing his dissertation on the devotional lyric poetry of William Dunbar. Over the years, he has cataloged over 8,000 journal articles, books, and other documents related to his research in Zotero.

He takes advantage of Zotero's tagging functions to find and filter citations quickly. 

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