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This tab has information on downloading Zotero and saving citations. Start here if you have never used Zotero before.

The instructions in this guide apply to version 5 of Zotero and Word 2016.

Downloading Zotero

Start at

Items to install:

  • Zotero
  • Browser extensions (for Firefox, Chrome, or Safari)

Create a free account with your Reed email address at to take advantage of features like syncing your library to and working in groups.

NEW: With a Reed email address, you have unlimited file storage for free.

Adding Records via Bookmarklet

With the appropriate browser plugin, you can add content to your Zotero library by clicking on the icon that appears in the address bar of your web browser. See below for a few common icon examples:

Icon Table Description
Zotero Bookmarklet Folder Icon Folder Download multiple records simultaneously (e.g. search results from a database)
Zotero Bookmarklet Record Icon Record Download a single records (e.g. metadata of an individual article)
Zotero Bookmarklet Book Icon Book Download the bibliographic description of a book (e.g. when searching the library catalog)
Zotero Bookmarklet Webpage Icon Webpage Download the URL and title of a webpage. You may need to manually add author information to Zotero.
Double click video to see a full size version
Before using the bookmarklet with JSTOR, you need to accept JSTOR's Terms and Conditions. Click on the 'Download PDF' button and accept the terms before using the bookmarklet. Otherwise, bibliographic metadata will be added to Zotero, but the PDF will not be included.

APA style requires the use of sentence case for titles while Chicago requires title case. Zotero can automatically convert to title case, but not the other way around. Therefore, if you use APA or multiple styles, it is best to save your titles in sentence case.

Adding Records via Identifier

The magic wand tool allows you to add content by unique identifiers.

Zotero Add Records By Identifier
Select thumbnail to see a full size screenshot

Click on the wand to open the dialog box.

Enter a unique identifier such as:

  • ISBN for books (e.g. 9780385521680 or 0385521685)
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for journal articles (e.g. 10.1002/jwmg.599)
  • PMID (PubMed Identifier) for articles in PubMed (e.g. 24038193)

There are two ways to add multiple items at once.

  • You can enter multiple identifiers on a single line, separated by a comma or comma-space
  • Alternatively, you can paste a list of identifiers into the field (one per line)

It is not possible, though, to add a mixed lists of identifiers, i.e. you cannot add a list containing some ISBNs and some DOIs.

If you use the browser plugin or Identifier to import references into your Zotero library, you might have trouble adding certain information to the reference. Try changing the Item Type (often from Web Page or Book) to a more specific entry.

For example, when you add an edited volume by ISBN, it adds the whole book rather than any of its constituent parts. In the record you can change its "Item Type" to "Book Section" and it will shift the metadata around. You will then need to manually add the author/title/pages of the individual essay.

Importing Citations

If you are working in a database and the bookmarklet does not appear in your browser bar, you can usually download the search results as an RIS file. Then import the file into Zotero by clicking File and choosing "Import".

Importing PDFs

Drag a PDF into the main content area to add it to Zotero.

Add embedded metadata to Zotero by right-clicking on the file and selecting "Retrieve Metadata of PDFs."

If there is no embedded metadata in the PDF, you can manually enter information about the file.

Double click video to see a full sized version

Manually Creating Records

You can also manually add records to Zotero.

Click on the green circle with the white “+” symbol and select format.

If you don’t see the format you want, select “More” to see additional formats.

Zotero Manually Enter Record

Click thumbnail to see a full sized screenshot

Backing Up

Syncing is not a substitute for backing up! What if you accidentally delete a bunch of references? You'll lose them for good the next time your library syncs. Here's how to make a backup of your Zotero library:

  1. In Zotero, go to the File menu > Export Library
  2. In the Format drop-down box, select Zotero RDF
  3. If you're using notes and/or files, check the boxes for "Export Notes" and "Export Files"
  4. Click OK
  5. Save the file to a location like your Desktop
  6. Then make sure to copy that file to a secondary location like AFS, Google Drive, an external hard drive, etc. Please contact CUS if you need help figuring out a good backup strategy that works for you.