Zotero is a free citation manager similar to RefWorks. This page offers information that will help you create and build a reference library, create and use groups to collaborate, and use Zotero to add properly format references in your papers.


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Zotero is a free reference management system where you can collect, manage, cite, and share research. You can use it to store references, highlight and annotate webpages, and collaborate by using groups through Zotero's website. All your references will be saved to the Zotero server. Zotero works with word processors (e.g. MS Word, Openoffice, and Word Perfect) so you can insert citations into research papers and create bibliographies from your saved citations. With the 2017 update to Zotero 5.0, the software now runs only as a standalone desktop application, with Zotero Connectors, browser extensions.  

The previous Zotero for Firefox, offered through Zotero version 4, has been replaced in version 5.0. If you had used Zotero for Firefox previously, you will now need to install Zotero 5.0 to continue accessing your Zotero data. 

For all other existing users and new users, Zotero 5.0 works similarly to other reference management systems in that a browser-independent desktop application is used to access and organize your references. The Zotero application can be installed on Windows, Macs, and Linux operating systems. Along with the desktop application, Zotero also offers a browser extension (the Zotero Connector) that can be installed into the browser of your choice (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Opera) from the Zotero download page. The browser extensions allow you to easily add references from webpages to your Zotero library by clicking on the extension button to the right of the browser search bar. 

This guide contains information on setting up Zotero on your computer, adding references, writing and citing, using Zotero in groups, mobile options for using Zoteromore advanced tips and a comparison between Zotero, RefWorks, Endnote and Mendeley.

While we at the Health Sciences Library provide full support for Endnote, if you have any questions about Zotero or which citation management system to use for your research needs, we are here to help via chat, email, or phone (919-962-0800).

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