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Citation Managers: Zotero

Getting Started

Zotero can be used as a standalone program that works with Firefox, Chrome, or Safari browsers , or as a Firefox plug-in. Both can be syncronized with an online Zotero account to provide access to your references wherever you go.

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Zotero Blog

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Why use Zotero?

Zotero is a free, open-source research tool that can help you collect, organize, cite, and share resources. Zotero can help you:

  • Annotate and organize research results, including video.
  • Identify and format meta-data, e.g., author, title, and other publication information.
  • Create and share collections with other people.
  • Attach files, links, notes, and PDFs to records.
  • Store a screenshot of a web page.
  • Automatically format citations and bibliographies in your word processor.
  • Tag and sort records and perform advanced searches.
  • View records in personal collection when offline.
  • Cite records in any language.

Zotero Settings for syncing, citing and UW's Find It

The Actions icon  in both Zotero Standalone and the Firefox version will take you to preferences where many setting are made.


Sync settings allow automatic log in and uploading of libraries and attachments to your online account at can use both Zotero Standalone and the Firefox version without an account, but this free account provides access to your libraries from any internet-connected device. Syncing attachment files stores them on Zotero servers. The first 300MB is free.

Under the Cite tab you can add word processor plugins and select citations styles. (The default style is set under the Export tab) Zotero installs with many common citation styles; over 2750 more are available at the Zotero Style Repository.


Under the Advanced tab, you can use connect your citations to Find It so you can retrieve full text articles or make article requests. Use the libraries’ SFX resolver  

With this setting, when you choose a citation and click the green arrow icon and then  "Library Lookup" , you'll be taken to a Find It window.