Zotero is a bibliographic management tool like Endnote or Ref Works, but it is freely available to download, install, and use. It was developed at George Mason University's Center for History and New Media with sponsorship from the Melon and Sloan Foundations and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Zotero can be either a standalone software or a Firefox browser extension for Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems. It allows users to efficiently collect information from library catalogs and databases and produce citations and bibliographies with ease. You can also use Safari or Chrome browsers with connectors to your Firefox Zotero instance or to a Zotero standalone instance.
There is also the potential to store .pdf documents, notes, and snapshots of web pages. A final feature of Zotero is creation of group libraries for collaborative projects.
This guide will help with installation, basic use, and support materials for using Zotero.
Your first decision will be whether to install Zotero as a standalone software or as an add-on to the Mozilla Firefox browser. Follow the directions below depending on your choice:
Downloading Zotero as a Firefox add-on:
If you do not already have Firefox, please download (or upgrade to at least 3.0) and run the program. Firefox download
The Zotero program is available for download at Zotero.org. We recommend using version 3.0 and teach that in our training sessions.
If you see the message “Firefox prevented this site from asking you to install software on your computer," click "Allow".
Restart Firefox. You'll see a small Zotero button at the bottom of your Firefox window. Click that icon to open Zotero whenever the browser is open.
This guide provides some additional troubleshooting tips for installation.
Downloading Zotero as a standalone program:
To install Zotero as a standalone program, download the file that matches your computer.
For both options:
Finally, because Zotero 3.0 syncs items you save at a local computer with your library on their server, you need to establish an account at Zotero.org The next step is to set up your preferences for syncing and storing. Please proceed to the next tab.