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Introduction to Zotero: Reference Management Tools

An information guide to accompany the iLearnOregon class Introduction to Zotero

Review Features & Functions

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a reference manager that "helps you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources" (Zotero, n.d.).


  • Gather different types of items: articles, books, book sections, reports, documents, presentations, artwork, recordings, and more.
  • Group related files, notes, links, and snapshots as attachments to items.
  • Use Zotero Connector to automatically save and create items.
  • Manually save and create items from the Zotero toolbar.
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds to view updates from journals, newspapers, websites, or other sources. Then, add selected items to your Zotero library.


  • Set up collections to organize items according to research topic.
  •  Items can belong to multiple collections.
  • Assign tags to items for sub-topics, if needed.
  • Use the search box to search within the library for items based on metadata, tags, or content.


  • Create citations and bibliographies of items.
  • Set citation style in Preferences.
  • Use word processor plugins (Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice) to add citations and bibliographies.
  • Manually create bibliographies by dragging and dropping items into a word processing program.


  • Set up group libraries to share items with colleagues, teams, or other research groups.
  • Group libraries may be private, public with closed membership, or public with open membership.
  • If you use multiple computers, you can access your library in two ways:
    • Using your account online.
    • Using the program on multiple computers and syncing your libraries.

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