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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.

Find-it in Zotero

You've probably seen the Find it @ CSUDH Lib button in some article databases that allows you to locate the full text of an article online. Zotero allows you to use the same feature through their software!

To set up Zotero to access the Find it server, go to the Preferences menu under Edit in the Zotero toolbar and choose Advanced. At the bottom of the preferences window, paste this url into the "Resolver" box:

Then click OK. Once you've set this up, you can click the Locate button on any citation you're viewing to search for the item online.

Transform Text

Was an item saved in all caps? Need to switch it to Title Case?

Right click the field you need to change and select Transform Text to easily make the swap

transform text screenshot

Syncing your Library

If you're regularly using more than one computer in your research, Zotero's sync feature can keep your library up to date on all of them. Zotero can store a copy of your library on the server and check it for updates whenever you open your library on a different computer. All your computers must be running the same version of Zotero.

1) Set up a (free, of course) user account.

2) Edit ---> Preferences, and select the "Sync" tab. Enter your Zotero user name and password. Check the "sync automatically" box. Check both boxes under File Syncing and choose Zotero storage for My Library. This will sync your PDF attachments as well as citations.

sync preference menu

3) Click the green circular arrow button at the top right corner of the Zotero window. Zotero will upload your library to the server and sync across all your computers. If you have a huge library this may take up to several minutes.

green zotero sync arrow icon

Group Libraries

Zotero's Groups feature allows you to share references with other Zotero users online. It's a great way to work on collaborative research projects.

First, set up Zotero sync and synchronize your library.

  • To create a shared library, click the Create Groups button near the top left of your Zotero window (small blue/green button with two “people” icons, second from the left).
  • To join an existing Zotero library, search for it at or be invited by the group’s owner.
  • You must log in to the website to create or join a group.

You now have two sections in your Zotero collections pane: My Library and Group Libraries.

Personal and group libraries are entirely separate, and changes made to items in one library do not affect the other. You can drag items back and forth libraries to copy items.

Search for existing public groups or create a new group. Groups may be public (searchable, and anyone can join) or private (users can only join if invited).