Citation Management with Zotero

Ways to add items to your library

The Zotero Browser Connector

  1. Open your Zotero program.
     
  2. Highlight the folder in your library where you want to put the item.
     
  3. Click the button in the browser to import it.
    The button will look different depending on the type of page you are visiting (journal article, webpage, PDF, etc.) as shown below.
Journal Article Book PDF Webpage Multiple Items
Zotero connector for journal Zotero Connector for book Zotero connector for PDF Zotero connector for webpage Zotero connector for multiple items

From the Library Search

It's easy to add items you find in the Library Search!

Zotero library search

  • Use the Connectorconnector icon for webpage
  • Although you can export a page of results at once, we recommend doing one item at a time.
If the Connector does not work, then try the RIS Export Method. See also Known Translator Issues.

From a Research Database Like ProQuest

  • Use the Connectorconnector icon for webpage
  • Although you can export a page of results at once, we recommend doing one item at a time.​
     
  • If the full text PDF shows as available, oftentimes the PDF will export along with the citation.
If the Save to Zotero Connector button does not work, then try the RIS Export Method.

RIS Export Method if the Connector doesn't work

  1. Open your Zotero program
     
  2. Highlight the Collection you want to add the item to
     
  3. In the database, after selecting the item you want to cite, look for a button that says Export or Save/Export or similar
     
  4. Select RIS or BibTex. Here are examples:
    Zotero export ProQuestZotero IEEE RIS export example


     

  5. Export
     
  6. If you're prompted to import the file, great! You can put it into a new collection, or uncheck the box and put it in the folder you've highlighted.
    Zotero import

     
  7. If the file won't open, check your pop-up blocker
     
  8. If you're not prompted, you can import or drag your saved RIS file into Zotero.
    Zotero file import
     
  9. The PDF will not be saved with the item, but you can drag it on top of the item. It will appear under the item as an attachment.

Learn more about troubleshooting the Connector.

Known translator issues.

From Google Scholar

  • Use the Connector 

Drag & Drop PDFs

To add a PDF and its citation information:

Zotero pdf metadata

  1. Drag the PDF into Zotero's center pane.
     
  2. If the metadata doesn't automatically display:
    1. Right click on the highlighted PDF.
    2. Click on Retrieve Metadata for PDF.
       
  3. If you don't get the Retrieval Complete window, you'll be prompted to install the PDF Tool. Proceed through the pop up windows: Open Preferences > Check for installer > Install

 

To connect a PDF with an existing item, drag the PDF on top of the item.

 

Webpages

Use the Connector

  • Many websites don't provide complete and accurate metadata for your citation, but if you use the Connector, it will at least create a template for the citation, and you can edit it within Zotero later.

Identifiers (ISBN or DOI)

Most commercially published books and journal articles have a standard unique identification number (ISBN for books, DOI for articles, ebooks, datasets, etc.). 

To import using the ISBN or DOI, click on the magic wand and enter the number.

Zotero doi isbn

Manual Entry

Sometimes it may be easier and more accurate to add an item manually. 

Zotero add new item

  1. In Zotero desktop, click the "New Item" button.
     
  2. Select the appropriate source type from the drop-down menu.
     
  3. Add the citation information in the right hand pane.

zotero.org Online Library

Things you can do with your online account:

  • Add items with the Bookmarklet when on your mobile device or when you can't install the Zotero desktop program.
  • Add noteszotero.org
  • Upload attachments
  • Edit the citation
  • Create Collections
  • Reorganize
  • Export

Things you can't do:

  • Cite in and sync with your Word document. That has to be done with Zotero desktop.