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Citation Management: Zotero

An overview and comparison of different citation managers, including RefWorks, Zotero, EasyBib, and BibMe.

About Zotero

Zotero is a FREE citation tool that you add to your web browser, or use as a standalone application.


Key features:

  • Add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
  • Mac and PC compatible.
  • Add items from websites, library catalog and databases, PDFs, audio, video, and image files.
  • Export citations to MS Word, LibreOffice.
  • Citation styles include MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, and many others.

Useful Links

Getting Started

You have two options for using Zotero:

1) Download Firefox Extension (for Macs and PCs)

Choose this option if you exclusively use Firefox or if you have a PC.

  • Go to the Zotero download page.
  • Click the link on the left to download Zotero 3.0 for Firefox.
  • A window will pop up asking permission to install Zotero.  Click the Install Now button to install. 
  • Restart Firefox once the installation is complete.  Once restarted, you will be prompted to register.  Registering allows you to save your data on Zotero servers (Zotero data, not attached PDFs, audio, video files), which means you can access it from anywhere.  For more info about this, see Zotero Syncing.
  • Optionally, you can also download a plugin for using Zotero with MS Word or LibreOffice.

2) Download Standalone Version for Mac (Mac only)

Choose this option if you have a Mac AND you want the flexibility of using your choice of Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, or Safari).

  • Go to the Zotero download page.
  • In the Zotero Standalone section on the right, download Zotero 3.0 for Mac and follow instructions to install the program on your Mac. 
  • Also, select and download the browser extension you would like to use (Firefox, Chrome, or Safari).
  • The MS Word plugin is included with the Zotero Standalone version.

Zotero - Video Tour

Zotero - Adding Content

Zotero - MS Word Plugin