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BIOLOGY 152: Introductory Biology: IP-Finding Research Articles and Databases (Spring 2024) : Zotero

Install Zotero

What is Zotero?

  • Zotero is an online research management tool.
  • Generate citations and bibliographies relatively painlessly.
  • Free and open-source
  • Allows you to select from many citation styles when you are creating a bibliography. Be sure to select the style that is specified by your instructors when you create your bibliography. 


How it works

Interface includes:

  • Master list of all citations in “My Library” and organization of personal and group folders.
  • Article information appears on the right when a citation is selected. Citations can be edited manually in the right pane.
  • The down arrow opens to indicate other attachments, such as PDFs and notes. PDFs can be opened from Zotero.

Create Collections (folders): You can organize your citations into collections for different classes, assignments, etc

  • Click the folder icon underneath the top menu, or right click over “My Library” and select “new collection”.
  • Name the collection and click OK.
  • Once created, you can save items directly to the collection, or drag and drop existing citations into the collection.

Create Groups: Groups can be used for collaborative projects.

  • Create a new group using the brown box icon at the top of the desktop application.
  • This will open up Zotero on the web, where you can choose a group name and type (public/open, public/closed or private). We recommend using a ‘private’ group so that you can share PDFs with your group members. PDFs cannot be shared in ‘public’ groups.
  • New members can be invited to the group under “Member Settings”.
  • Access group libraries from the left side bar.

Using Zotero Connector: 
To use the connector, navigate to Web of Science (or another database of your choosing):

  • Perform a search and go into a record from the results.
  • Click on the Zotero plugin to the right of the search bar (the icon varies depending on the type of document but often appears as a piece of paper).
  • To ensure that you capture the citation as well as the PDF, it is best to locate the full text of the article before saving it. Look for a “PDF Full Text” link, or go through Find It to access a database that contains a full text of the article. Use the connector when you are in the record (but not the PDF) of the article.
  • Alternatively, save the citation and then attach the PDF (once you have located it) by attaching it to the record in Zotero. In Zotero, right click over the citation you want to add a PDF to and select “Add Attachment”.
  • Confused? Ask a librarian!
  • To ensure that citations are directed to the correct folder or group in your library, select the collection in the desktop app before using the connector.

Add websites:

  • Zotero works within news and other websites that may have popular science articles.
  • Navigate to a website and select an article.
  • Use the Zotero plugin to save links that can be accessed again in the future.

Create references and bibliography in Word & Google Docs:

  • Open a word document and go to the “Zotero” tab for PCs and the “Add-ins” tab for Macs. (If you’re not seeing these options, consult this screen capture. Alternatively, you may need to confirm that the Word add-in has been installed by going to Edit ­-> Preferences -> Cite -> Word Processors).
  • Click on “Add/Edit Citation”, select your citation style, and search in the box using title, author, or any other information from the citation. Click on the article you want to cite and hit ‘enter’.
  • formatted citation will appear in your document.
  • Click on “Add/Edit Bibliography” to create a formatted bibliography for all of the in-text citations that have been created.

Create a copy/paste bibliography from Zotero:

  • In Zotero, select one or more citations (use control + click to select multiples).
  • Right click over the selected citation(s) and select “Create Bibliography from Item”.
  • Choose your style and output method (recommended Copy to Clipboard) and click okay.
  • Paste the formatted bibliography into your word processor.

Additional Resources