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Zotero: Creating Bibliographies

Instructions for using and exporting sources to Zotero, the free, easy to use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Choosing a Citation Style

Select the citation style for your entire library by clicking on the "Actions" gear button then "Preferences," and select the "Cite" tab.  Next, click on the "Styles" tab.

  • This will show you a short selection of citation styles
  • If you don't see the citation style you need listed, Zotero provides access to thousands of additional citation styles. 

1.  Click on the "Get additional styles" link underneath the listing of currently installed citation styles

  • This will open as a new tab in your browser

‚Äč2.  Search for the citation style you need in the Zotero Style Repository

  • You can search for citation styles by name or by discipline.
  • Hover over the name of any style to see sample citations. 

3.  Click on the style name to download the citation style as a csl file, then open the file to automatically install it in your Zotero library   

  • This added citation style will now appear in the list of available citation styles 
  • If the citation style does not automatically install, you can add it manually by clicking on the "+" button and selecting the downloaded file. 

To use any newly added citation styles in your word processor, click on the "Zotero Refresh" button to update the list of availble citation styles. 

Installing & Using Zotero Word Processor Plugins

Zotero offers a citation plugin to help streamline your writing process by providing you with a button installed in your word processor that seamlessly integrates resources from your Zotero library into your paper. 

  • Allows you to quickly and easily reference materials from your Zotero library in the citation style of your choice.
  • After inputting citations, you can then generate a bibliography that will automatically include all the resources cited throughout the paper.   

Zotero Standalone users:

1.  Click on the "Actions" gear button then "Preferences," and select the "Cite" tab

2.  Select "Install [word processor] Add-in"

  • The plugin for Microsoft Word may automatically install when you downloaded Zotero Standalone. If the button says "Reinstall Microsoft Word Add-in" then this tool will be available when you open Word. 
  • Once you click "Install" button it will automatically add the Zotero plugin to your Word Processor.  

Zotero for Firefox Users: 

1.  Click on the "Installing Word Processor Plugins for Zotero 3.0-4.0 for Firefox" link below

2.  On this Zotero page, follow the instructions for downloading the plugin that works for your word processor 

  • If you are installing for Microsoft Word, make sure you also select the download that corresponds to your operating system. 

To use the Zotero plugin in your word processor, Zotero Standalone or Zotero for Firefox must be running on your computer. 

1.  Locate the added Zotero toolbar in your word processor

  • For Microsoft Word for Windows it will be listed under the "Add Ins" tab
  • For Microsoft Word for Mac it will be listed in the top-level tool bar next to "Help"
  • For LibreOffice it will be positioned in your toolbar

2.  Click on the "Insert Citation" button in the left side of ther Zotero toolbar

  • This toolbar is from Microsoft Word for Windows, but it will look the same for LibreOffice. To see an example of the toolbar for Microsoft Word on a Mac, click here. 
  • For the first citation, a box will first appear asking you to select the citation style you would like to use for your paper

3.  Search for the source you would like to use by title or author, and click on the correct citation 

  • As you start typing sources from your library will appear
  • To add additional citation information such as page number, click on the author names
  • You can add multiple citations at a time
  • Once you have selected all the sources you need, press "Enter" on your keyboard

You can change the citation style for all your citations by clicking on the "Set Document Preferences" gear icon, and selecting the style you need. If the style you need is not listed in this menu, follow the instructions in the "Choosing a Citation Style" box above. 

Create your bibliography at any time by clicking on the "Insert Bibliography" list button in the center of the Zotero toolbar

  • This will automatically generate a list of all the sources referenced in the in-text citations throughout your paper in a matching citation style. 
  • If you need to go back and add additional in-text citations from new sources, they will automatically be added to the bibliography. 
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Quick Cite

If a citation plug-in is not available for your word processor,  Zotero platforms have a simple process to quickly add a citation into your paper.

1.  Check to make sure the citation style is correct, by following the instructions in the "Choosing a Citation Style" box to the right

2.  Select the source you want to cite and click on "Edit" then "Copy Citation"

  • This will copy the in-text citation format for the source. To insert the bibliography formatted citation, select the source and click "Copy Bibliography." 
  • You can also insert a bibliography by selecting multiple citations in your Zotero library, then dragging them into you word processor page.
  • Select multiple sources to insert several citations at the same time.

3.  Paste the citation into your paper