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

Finding Sources

The most effective way to use Zotero is to first search for academic sources, like journal articles, in ACU's OneSearch. If you're unfamiliar with OneSearch, contact a librarian or view one or more of the following video tutorials for online students

Zotero is designed for academic use and so works best with academic resources and databases. However, you can use Zotero on any website, such as government websites, blogs, and YouTube. The quality of the information Zotero is able to capture can vary based on the way data is coded on each website. 

Saving Sources with the Zotero Connector

When you have found an article in OneSearch that you want to save to Zotero, click on the article title from the search results. This will bring you to a page with information about the article and (if available) an indication of the pdf document to download. Click on the Zotero Connector from this page. 

Zotero can only save your source if the Zotero application is open. You should see a popup indication of what Zotero is saving, which folder it is being saved to, and whether or not the full text is being saved. 

Saving to Demo folder; title; EBSCO full text

Now, you can look back in your Zotero application to see your saved article.

Image of saved article in Zotero application

If the full-text PDF is available but does not get downloaded to your Zotero library when you click on the connector, try the following:

  1. Make sure you are letting the page load completely before you click on the Zotero connector. (Otherwise, Zotero may save incomplete data and miss the PDF.)
  2. Check to see if there is a full-text link to the article's information on the publisher's website. (Such links are located on the left-side menu on the article page or under the article title on the search results page.) Usually, following that link and trying the Zotero connector again on the publisher's web page solves the issue. 

If you continue having difficulties, email 

Creating an Item Manually

The Zotero connector is usually the most efficient way to save sources. However, you can manually add information about an source to Zotero by clicking New Item. 

New item menu selection

You can also add an item by an identifying number. This can be especially useful if you have a physical book you want to cite. You can type in the book's ISBN, and Zotero will pull information about the book from an online source. 

Add Item(s) by Identifier; Enter ISBNs, DOIs, PMIDs, arXiv IDs, or ADS Bibcodes to add to your library

Fixing Errors in Imported Metadata

When you add a source to your Zotero library, click on the source and look at the Info pane on the right to check and see if the metadata (the information about the source) is complete and correct. Better metadata can usually be captured from library databases than on various web pages, but all fields in the Info pane are editable, so you can always add or correct the information Zotero will use to create citations.