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Reference Managers

Using Zotero

Add a folder:

  • Add folders for an organized research process.
  • Click the  icon.
  • Enter a name.
  • Anything you put in a folder will automatically save to your master library.

Add from databases:

  • Search a keyword or phrase in the databases.
  • Add multiple search results to Zotero at once by clicking . This is found in the top right corner of your browser.
  • Add a single result by clicking  or Zotero Icon. This is found in the top right corner of your browser. It pops up once you have clicked on an article.
  • These sources will automatically be added to your Zotero master library.
  • You can add these items to a folder by dragging them from your master library to a folder.
  • This method works with Google Scholar, the library catalog, and the databases. 

Add from browser:

  • Add a source by clicking . This is found in the top right corner of your browser.
  • Note: This icon may change appear depending on the type of website. 

Add a source manually:

  • Unique items, like emails, maps, and other sources are cited manually.
  • Click .
  • Fill in the citation information as prompted.

Add with ISBN or DOI:

  • Click .
  • Enter the ISBN or DOI.
  • Zotero will automatically pull the reference information and add this source to your master library. 

Add a PDF:

  • Drag and drop any PDF into Zotero.
  • It will automatically find the reference information and add it to your master library. 
  • Note: This function is most effective with journal articles and may be inadequate with other PDFs. You can always add more reference information by editing it in the right-hand column of Zotero. 

Paul V. Galvin Library. (2018, July 24). Learn how to use Zotero in 30 minutes [Video]. YouTube.

Note: Always review your references, as no reference software is perfect. If incorrect, ensure that edits, (capitalizing proper nouns, for example), are made in Zotero. If edits are made in Word, the reference will go back to an incorrect version whenever you refresh, because it will be pulling the information from Zotero. 

Generate a bibliography: 

  • Right click on a folder.
  • Select "Create Bibliography from Collection..."
  • Select your citation style.
  • There will be an "output mode" and "output method" option.
    • A standard selection is "bibliography" and "copy to clipboard." From here, you can paste freely.
  • Lastly, paste and enjoy an automated bibliography. 

Automatic in-text citations in Word: 

  • Go to the Zotero tab.
    • If you do not have a Zotero tab, feel free to stop by Welder and speak with a librarian. 
  • Click "Add/Edit Citation." 
  • Select your style.
  • A search bar will pop up. Type in anything related to your source, find it, and hit enter. 
  • Admire your brand new in-text citation. 

Generate a bibliography in Word:

  • Go to the Zotero tab and select, "Add Bibliography." 
  • Zotero will add a bibliography which lists a reference for every in-text citation in your paper. It will add more references as you add in-text citations. 
  • For an error-free paper, review Zotero's references to make sure they are up to snuff. 

Using in Google Docs:

  • Follow this link for a step-by-step guide on how to use Zotero in Google Docs.

Paul V. Galvin Library. (2018, July 24). Learn how to use Zotero in 30 minutes [Video]. YouTube.

Editing your citation: 

  • Reference information, such as the author name(s), title, journal, etc. is referred to as metadata. 
  • Edit metadata by clicking a source in Zotero.
  • The metadata will pop up in the right-hand column.

Adding an organization or institution as an author: 

  • If you try to add an institution's name in place of an author, which is required for APA, Zotero will automatically convert it to a last name, first name format.
    • For instance, "University of Mary" will become "Mary, University of."
  • To change this, click the name.
  • Next, click the small rectangular box next to the name.
  • Now you can type in a single-field format. 

Paul V. Galvin Library. (2018, July 24). Learn how to use Zotero in 30 minutes [Video]. YouTube.

There are two ways to delete items on Zotero:

  1. Delete from a folder by right clicking, and then selecting "remove item from collection." This will leave the item in your master library.
  2. Delete completely by right clicking, and selecting "move item to trash."
Zotero is accessible on your phone in one of two ways; Zotero Connector and Zotero Bookmarklet. 

Zotero Bookmarklet

  • "If you’re using a mobile device or a desktop browser without a Zotero Connector, you can use the Zotero Bookmarklet to save items to your Zotero library. We recommend using the Zotero Connnector when possible for the best experience.
  • On mobile devices and in Safari and IE on the desktop, the bookmarklet will save to your online Zotero library. In Microsoft Edge, the bookmarklet can save to the local Zotero program on your computer and will allow you to choose a target collection and add tags to items, just as you can with the Zotero Connector.
  • The process for installing and using the bookmarklet varies depending on the browser you are using" (Zotero). 
  • Visit this link to install.

Zotero. (n.d.). Zotero bookmarklet. Zotero.

Installing the Zotfile add-on

ZotFile is a third-party plug-in that allows you to add highlights and annotations to PDFs saved to your Zotero Library and extract those to notes attached to your citations. 

To install:

  • On the ZotFile site, click "Download" and the xpi file will be downloaded. 
  • In the Zotero application, go to Tools > Add-Ons.
  • Click on the gear icon and choose "Install Add-on from file."
  • Locate your downloaded xpi file and click "Open."

Sending PDFs to your tablet:

In preparation for sharing PDFs between your Zotero library and your tablet, you must install an app on your computer and tablet that will allow you to sync files between them. Dropbox is used in the example here. 

  • In Tools > ZotFile Preferences > Tablet Setting, specify a directory that you have created in your Dropbox folder on your computer. Check the boxes indicated in the image. Files that are copied to your folder should automatically appear in your PDF reader application (you may need to give the application permission to access the folder).
  • Zotfile preferences screen
  • Right-click on a PDF in Zotero and choose Manage Attachments > Send to Tablet. If you annotate that document, you can add the annotated version to your Zotero library by choosing Manage Attachments > Get from Tablet. A PDF with the suffix "_annotated" will be added to your library and any annotations will be added as notes.

Reference (box taken from):

Berkeley Library. (2021, March 25th). Zotero: ZotFile. LibGuides.