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Learn how to use the free resource management system Zotero to store, organize, and cite scholarly resources.

In-Text Citations

To create an in-text citation in MS Word or Google Docs, place your cursor where you want the in-text citation to appear. Then, on the Zotero tab, click Add/Edit Citation.  

Add/Edit Citation

This will bring up a red Zotero search box, where you can type to search for the title or author's name. Alternatively, you can click the Z with a drop-down arrow and click on Classic View to browse through your folder structure to find the source you want to cite. 

Classic View

Select the source(s) you want to cite. Add page numbers if necessary, and use the Omit Author checkbox if you've named the author earlier in your text and don't need it to appear in your in-text citation. 

Page numbers and Omit Author

Create a Dynamic Bibliography

To create a bibliography or reference list for your paper, first make sure you have already created at least one in-text citation. Place your cursor where you want your bibliography to begin, and simply click Add/Edit Bibliography. 

Add/Edit Bibliography

Zotero will generate a bibliography of all of the items for which you have created in-text citations. This bibliography is dynamic, so when you add or remove a citation, the bibliography will update itself automatically, or you can click Refresh. 

Always check computer-generated citations. When you select the correct citation style, when prompted by Zotero, you should be provided with good citations, based on the information Zotero has for each of your sources. If citations do not look correct, look in the Zotero application at the information in the fields of the Info pane for that source. Correct the information and click Refresh to generate citations with the new correct information. 

Correcting this information in Zotero allows you to generate correct citations in multiple documents and keeps you from disconnecting or overwriting your citations. 

Quick Bibliography

If you need a bibliography without in-text citations, such as for an annotated bibliography, select all of the sources you want included in your bibliography list and click and drag them from the Zotero application to a Word or Google Docs window. Alternatively, you can select the sources in the Zotero application, right click, select Create Bibliography from Items, select the appropriate citation style, and Copy to Clipboard. 

This bibliography will not be dynamically updated, because it is not connected to any in-text citations, so if you change any information in Zotero, you will need to manually update this bibliography.