Zotero is a free citation manager. 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.

Need help?

Call the HSL at (919) 962-0800 to get immediate help (during library hours).
E-Mail us and the best suited librarian will get back to you promptly (quick answers or one-on-one consultations).
Chat with a HSL Librarian to get help (during business hours).

Write and Cite

Inserting Citations and Creating a Bibliography

To insert use the write and cite function of Zotero, you first need to make sure you have the Word Processor plugin installed. 

After that's installed, open up Word. Here is what it will look like when using Word on a PC.

Add-Ins tab in Microsoft Word for Zotero's Write and Cite functionality

Here's what it will look like when using Word for Mac:
Zotero toolbar when using Word for Mac

Now you need to click on the Add-Ins tab in Word. From there, you will see the options that Zotero provides. From left to right they are: Insert citation(s), Edit citation(s), Insert bibliography, Edit Bibliography, Refresh citations, Edit citation style and Remove Codes.

Insert citation options in ZoteroInsert citation(s): Is for inserting citations. When you initially click this button, you will be asked to select a citation style. Zotero only provides a limited number of options initially. If you need another style, be sure to check their style repository for more styles to suit your needs. When you've selected this button, you will get a window like the one displayed to the left. In the checked option, which is the default option, you will need to type in either the author or title of the paper to select it for insertion. If you select the Classic View option, you will have a window that will list all the papers in your library so you can select the paper you want to cite. The Classic View option is better if you want to include a page number in the citation.

Edit citation(s): If you need to edit a citation.

Insert bibliography: When you need to insert the bibliography to your paper.

Edit bibliography: If you need to edit your bibliography.

Refresh citations: If you make edits to your Zotero library for citations that are being used, or if you add new items while working on a paper, be sure to click this button to make sure you can find the citation that you need and that the formatting is correct.

Edit citation style: This is the button that will allow you to edit the citation style if you'd like to switch to a different style.

Remove codes: This is the button that will remove the link between the citations and your Zotero library. Use this before you send the document to another person to look over/review. Be sure to save a copy of this before you complete this step in case you want to go back and make edits. So you may want to save a copy as importantpaper-codes.docx that will have the codes in place and save another copy as importantpaper-nocodes.docx that does not include the codes if you're sending it to another person to look over.

Using Zotero's advanced citing features

There are times where you will want to do fancier than standard types of citations. They may range from using sentences like "Smith claims that X is true (1994)" or using page numbers in citations. To edit the way your citations are formated, once you've added a citation, you can click on the citation to edit how it is displayed.

If you want to add in page numbers, you can so do like this:
Adding in page numbers to citations by clicking on the citation when adding them using Zotero's write and cite feature

Or if you wanted to write a sentence that only includes the year because you've used the author(s) previously in the sentence, like so:
Suppressing author using Zotero's write and cite feature