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Zotero Citation Manager

A how-to guide on using Zotero, a citation management tool that collects, organizes, and cites your references.

Saving Citations

Saving Book or Article Citations

With Zotero and the Zotero browser extension, you have the ability to save references from most library catalogs (including CSUDH's) and databases. If Zotero detects that you're looking at a book or article on a compatible site you'll see a corresponding book (Zotero book icon) or article (Zotero Journal Article Icon) icon appear in the utility bar of your browser.

Click the icon and Zotero will automatically save the reference to your library.

After clicking the browser extension icon, you'll see the article record save to your library in the top, right-hand corner of your browser window, just under the Zotero icon. In the pop up, you can choose where the reference is saved and see which files are being imported.

Google Chrome browser displaying Journal Article Record with Zotero web-browser extension icon highlighted. Zotero web-browser extension popup with folder select and filenames.

Saving Multiple Citations

If you're on a page of search results with many items, you'll see a folder (Zotero Folder Icon) icon instead. Click the icon to open the Zotero Item Selector and select the items you want to save to your library using the check boxes. Click "OK" when you're done.

Google chrome toolbar with Zotero folder icon highlightedZotero multiple item selector window

Adding Other Websites

Zotero can't automatically capture citation info from some web pages, but you can still add them to your Zotero library.

Chrome browser window displaying the Library of Congress Homepage. Zotero webpage snapshot icon highlighted

Instead of a page or book icon you'll see a webpage (Zotero Webpage Icon) icon which stands for "Save to Zotero" (Web Page with Snapshot).

This will also attach a snapshot of the page to the citation. It includes the page's text and images, so if the page is removed later, or if you're offline, you'll still be able to view your copy.


Adding Items in the Zotero Application

Adding a "New Item" Manually

There may be times when you need to add a new item to your library manually, without the Zotero Connector. If so, open the Zotero Application window and click the "New Item" (Zotero New Item Icon) icon. Select the type of item you would like to add from the dropdown list and complete the appropriate fields in right-hand info panel of the new item you have created.

Zotero Application window with the new item icon highlighted

Add Item by Identifier

You can also add items by their various identifiers, such as DOI or ISBN. To do so, click on the "Add Item(s) by Identifier" (Add Item(s) by Identifier Icon) icon and enter identifiers into the pop-up window.

Zotero Application window with Add Item(s) by Identifier Icon highlighted,

Organizing your Collection

At the top left is a folder button with a green plus sign. Click this to create a new "collection."

Create collections to organize your references. Collections are like file folders on your computer, but a reference can be in more than one collection at a time. In other words, an article on teaching techniques could be in folder called "CUR 519", "Education Paper", and "Student Teaching" all at the same time.