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Zotero - Getting Started

Zotero is a citation management tool that combines a free desktop application, browser extension, and word processing plug-ins to help you organize and cite your research. It provides 300 MB of free attachment space, plus options to upgrade storage starting at $20 per year. Zotero's word processor plug-ins allow you to insert citations as you write, and work with Microsoft Office, Libre Office, and Google Docs. You can register for Zotero here and download the Zotero desktop application here.

Adding References

You can add references to your Zotero library in a number of different ways. Below are the most common ways; check out Zotero's "getting stuff in your library" guide for the full rundown.



  1. Once you've added the browser extension (found on the Zotero downloads page), you can begin saving to your library from any web page. Simply click the Zotero button from the resource you want to save. If you have the desktop application open, it will save directly there. Otherwise, authorize Zotero to save to your online library, and then make sure to sync when you open the desktop app again.
  2. Zotero will try to detect what type of resource you are on, so the icon may appear as a book, a PDF, a folder, or a plain web page.
  3. Saving from the browser extension will work on @LL Search, any of the library databases, and the FLO catalog.



  1. To add a PDF you have saved on your computer, simply open the Zotero application and drag your PDF into your library.
  2. That's it, you're done!



  1. You can also search using an object identifier such as an article's DOI or a book's ISBN number. From the desktop application, click on the Add by Identifier button, which looks a bit like a magic wand.
  2. Enter your resource's identifier and search. If Zotero can find the resource, it will be automatically added to your library



  1. To export from @LL Search, go to the detailed record page for the resource by selecting the title on the search results page.
  2. From the menu on the right side of the page, select Export.
  3. A menu of options will come up; select Direct export in RIS Format.
  4. If you have the desktop application running, it will export directly to Zotero. Otherwise, you will be able to download an RIS file that you can import into Zotero later.