The interface of the Zotero browser extension might be slightly different, depending on you browser. The interface of the Zotero desktop application on a Mac Operating System differs from the application on a Windows OS. The guidelines on this page are based on Zotero in combination with a Chrome browser and a Windows OS.
For Mac users:
Before you can start using Zotero, follow these five steps:
Use Zotero with Chrome, Firefox or Safari!
Additionaly you can
Getting publications into Zotero is easy using the browser extension. Perform a search and simply hit the Zotero button in your browser.
This option is available for:
More information, for instance on adding stuff manually, on the Zotero support page.
You can add the full text pdf's of the publications to Zotero.
You can organise the literature using Zotero standalone using:
Check the Zotero support pages for additional help.
You can automatically create a bibliography (that is: a list of references to publications) using a specific citation style (that is: a list of rules that tell you how to refer to a publication):
Remember, Zotero is just software. When the references in your library are incomplete or false, you will have to fix this first.
You can create Zotero Groups to collaborate with others and share your library.
Your group might not be visible yet in the desktop application. Try using the sync-button on the upper right corner to solve this.
If you have problems using Zotero, ask a fellow student or send an email to the subject librarian Margriet Fokken. Recurring issues will be added to this list.
Reference management is the way you systematically collect, store, organize, annotate, share and cite sources. Those sources can have any form: articles, books, images, data, multimedia and more. You can collect and store the full text/files or just the bibliographic metadata (title, author, publication year etc.) describing these.
If you use a lot of sources and especially if you often write papers etc. citing these sources it is wise to use a tool that manages recurring tasks and thus makes your workflow easier and more reliable. A big time saver of those tools is the automatic generation of bibliographies with cited literature, in the citation style of your choice (APA, MLA, Nature, Vancouver and more). These tools are called reference managers or reference management tools. They come in many forms:
For more guidance on choosing a reference management tool, for a comparison chart of functionality and for a quick-start tutorial/training for Mendeley, RefWorks and Zotero visit the full Reference management LibGuide.
There are dozens of dedicated reference management tools. The best known and most widely used are:
To help you choose the tool that best suits your needs, take a look at our comparison tables.
Whatever tool you choose, it is always relatively easy to switch at a later stage and import your references in another tool.