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Zotero Citation Manager Setup & Adding References

Zotero Set up

What is Zotero?

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use program to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It integrates with your web browser.


  • Keep track of resources, notes, and pdfs of articles
  • Create citations in word processors
  • Create bibliographies in word processors

Install Zotero

Set up for use on one computer

1. Download and Install the desktop application on your computer.

A MS Word Plugin should install automatically if you have MS Word.

2. Download and Install the Connector for your web browser(s).

Browser Options:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Fox
  • Safari

Sync Zotero on multiple devices

  1. Register for a free Zotero account online. 
  2.  Login to your Zotero account via the Edit menu inside the desktop application on your computer. Click Preferences, then Sync to sync your account.
  3. When you are away from your computer you may access your library on the Zotero login online.For more information about syncing: Zotero Website.

Add Single Resources via Browser

zotero book browser icon

Zotero “watches” the pages you view to see if any of them contain citations to books, articles, or other sources.

  1. Click the Browser icon to add the item to Zotero.
  2. You will be prompted to choose a folder to add items.

Note: Icon appearance will vary by browser. 

For more information see  Adding Items to Zotero

Add Multiple Resources via Browser

If you’re on a page of search results in Primo or a database with many items, you’ll see a folder icon instead of an item icon in your browser.

  1. Click the folder to get a list of all the items.
  2. Check the box for the ones you want to save to Zotero.
  3. Click OK

Add Items Inside Zotero

There are 3 ways to add items to your library from within the Zotero Program.

1. Add Item by Identifier – search for a known item by clicking on the wand icon.

Search for items inside Zotero

2. Manually Add Items. Click the plus sign in the menu to add new items. Choose the correct source type from the menu.

Choose the source type from the menu

Add items from Primo

Watch this video created for another university with the same steps as CUAA.

Part 2: Zotero Citations and Bibliographies

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