Getting Started with Zotero
Step One: Download the Zotero Plug-In
A. Zotero works from within the Mozilla Firefox browser. If you plan to use Zotero on your own computer or laptop, you will need to download the Firefox browser if you haven't already done so. If you plan to use Zotero from multiple computers, just make sure that you are in Firefox before beginning.
B. Download Zotero from the zotero.org homepage. You'll need to restart Firefox once you've done so.
C. If you wish to use Zotero while writing your paper ("write and cite"), also download the Zotero word processing plugin for Microsoft Word or Open Office. You'll need to restart that program, too.
Step Two: Set Your Zotero Preferences
A. Open the Zotero window at the bottom of your browser, click on the "gear" icon, and select "preferences." Although you can stick with the default options, the following changes are recommended:
- On the GENERAL tab, click the box "automatically attach associated PDFS." This will save not only the bibliographic information about articles, but also, when available, the PDF of the article itself.
- On the SEARCH tab, under PDF indexing, click the bar to install the pdf indexers. This will allow you to search the full text of the pdf documents attached to your Zotero account.
- On the EXPORT tab, if there's a single bibliographic style that you tend to use most of the time (such as MLA or Chjcago), go ahead and select it. This enables the "Quick Bibliography" feature.
- On the SYNC tab, you can create an account at zotero.org if you want to be able to sync your library to the Zotero server. This will enable you to access your Zotero library from multiple computers. Zotero accounts are free (up to 100 mb).
Introduction to Zotero
Zotero is an open source knowledge management tool. Watch this brief video for a basic overview of its capabilities.
If you have questions about using Zotero, you get help by:
- Exploring this Zotero guide
- Searching the extensive zotero.org support files
- Sending your question to firstname.lastname@example.org