- Write Academically
- Finding sources
- Using and citing sources
- Tools for academic writing
- Glossary of terms
What is Zotero?
Zotero is a reference management tool and it’s an open-source program that is free to download and use (up to 300 MB).
Zotero collects, manages and cites sources in a similar way as EndNote and RefWorks. It works with Windows, Mac or Linux systems.
Download Zotero + Connector
- Download the program by clicking on the "Download" button.
- If you want the browser addon to Zotero that can link resources you find in your browser to your Zotero library, press the "Install browser Connector" and it will prompt an installation in the browser you are using.
- If you want to have an online backup of your library and the ability to share your library with others, register a user at www.zotero.org for syncing and sharing libraries.
- Confirm new user by email and log in to www.zotero.org.
- You will find Zotero among the programs on your PC/Mac, possibly as a Z on your toolbar. Folder icon is used for downloading references and may be shown on the toolbar or next to the browser address bar.
- Open Zotero
- Go to Edit - Preferences / Settings - Sync: Enter user info in the sync fields.
Checklist after installation
- Has the Zotero program come into place?
The Zotero program can appear as a Z on the taskbar in the browser. If not, look among your programs.
- Has the folder icon come into place in the browser?
You click this icon when loading/importing references from a website or database to your Zotero library. The icon looks like a Z and can be located to the right or to the left of the address bar in your browser.
- Do you have a Zotero menu in Word?
The Zotero menu can look different in different browsers. You can have a Zotero menu behind the option "Add-ons" or it will show as a Zotero icon.
You can use Zotero with
In the Zotero program:
- Go to Preferences (Under Edit in Toolbar on Zotero).
- Go to "Cite" and click the "Word Processors" tab.
- Select "Use classic Add Citation dialog". Then your library will appear in a separate window. From here, choose which reference you want to insert into your text.
- You can download multiple styles from www.zotero.org/styles or use "Preferences" - "Cite", select the Styles tab.
Click on "Document Preferences"
- Check that you have the correct style and language. See more about Using and citing sources.
You have to add the same connector as for Word.
Information about: Zootero and Google Docs
It's fine to export the library with references from Zotero to BibTeX. Be aware that every time you change the Zotero library, it must be exported to BibTeX again.
The Zotero library
You can easily add references by clicking the Zotero save button on the Firefox toolbar, or you can add them manually.
"My library" shows all the references you have in your library in the middle column.
PDF file/other files
When you save PDF and other types of files - drag and drop the desired PDF file to your Zotero library. Right-click and select "retrieve metadata for PDF" to retrieve a reference.
All items have metadata. The metadata are displayed in the right column in Zotero.
You can structure My library to create multi-level collections. You can click and drag items from My library to the desired collection.
Search and tag
You can tag items with explanatory names. You can then search for and get listed all items marked with the same tag.
Video: Making your library: Tags
In the metadata at the right in the Zotero pane you can use notes to write a summary of the source, strength and weaknesses, its conclusions, why it is relevant, relationships to other studies, evaluation of research method, author’s background, your own conclusion and more.
Video: Using Notes Effectivly
Items in the center column in the Zotero pane can be sorted by properties as title, creator and date added to the Zotero library.
Zotero can give several hundred different reference styles. You can choose from numeric, author-year styles, IEEE, Nature and specific styles for several journals.
Zotero comes with a built-in journal abbreviation list. Click on “Zotero Bibliographic Management: Zotero Set Doc Prefs” under the Word “Add-In” menu and you can see the option “Medline journal abbreviations will be automatically generated using journal titles”.
Collaborate/share Zotero library
By creating groups you can collaborate with your colleagues in the same research group, or with other researchers at other institutions. If you want to create a group you have to register to login to zotero.org. You can create a group with Public, open membership, Public, closed membership or with Private membership.
How to use Zotero on multiple computers
If you want to use Zotero on multiple computers, the best way is to sync your libraries automatically via the zotero server. You have to register to login to the zotero server. When you are logged in you find your library under “My Library”.
Tips and tricks
Courses and help
Physical and digital courses – If you are getting started with Zotero, NTNU University Library arranges introductory courses regularly.
The Virtual Library - Here you can get Zotero guidance via Zoom. You will meet competent people from the University Library ready to answer your questions every weekday.
NTNU Hjelp - If you have questions abut Zotero or installation.