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Citation Managers

Software and apps to help you organize and format citations for your research papers.

How To

Getting started

  1. Go to, click on Log In and Register for a free account. Download a copy to your desktop or laptop. 


  3. Housekeeping: To sync up your online Zotero library with your desktop library, click on Edit in your desktop Zotero. Next, click on Preferences, then General. Within File Handling, Miscellaneous and Groups select all boxes. Then click on the Sync tab and type in your username and password for syncing between the desktop library and the web browser connector. 


Zotero has plug-ins for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox known as the Zotero Connector that makes it quick & easy to capture PDFs and citation information as you're navigating databases and journals. Check out the Quick Tips below for working with Zotero!

To create a new folder (called collections in Zotero), click on the Folder icon to create and name your new collection. To organize existing articles in your library, drop & drag articles into folders.


Housekeeping: You might end up with duplicates in your library. To get rid of duplicates, highlight the copies of articles, right-click, and select Merge Items. 

The Easiest Way to Export into Zotero

  1. The fastest way to export a resource from a database into Zotero is to use the Zotero Connector 
  2. Zotero has plug-ins for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox known as the Zotero Connector that makes it quick & easy to capture PDFs and citation information as you're navigating databases and journals. Check out the Quick Tips for working with Zotero!


Other Way to Export into Zotero from EBSCO databases (Not using the Zotero Connector)

  1. On the right side of the screen go to tools and select Export
  2. Select Direct Export in RIS Format 
  3. The article will automatically appear in your desktop Zotero library

From Web of Science

  1. Select "Export"
  2. Click on "Other File Formats" and choose "BibteX" 
  3. In the desktop version of Zotero, select Add and then select the BibTeX file you downloaded   

  From the Library Catalog

  1. Click on the article title and select Export BibTeX 
  2. Download by selecting the green DOWNLOAD button 
  3. In your desktop Zotero, select File, import, and select the downloaded file which will have the file name starting with Primo_BibTex


You can drop & drag downloaded PDFs into your Zotero desktop account. PDFs will be added to your My Library Folder by default so if you want to organize your PDFs by folder, drop & drag them into specific folders. 

Right-click on the article and select View PDF. The PDF will open in the PDF viewer of your computer. You can highlight the article here. 

Within Zotero, click on the article, select Notes on the right side of the screen, and Add to create a note.   

Generate Reference List

Highlight the items you want for your reference list. In the Zotero desktop version, right-click and select Generate Bibliography from Items. In the web version of Zotero, there is an icon that looks like books on a bookshelf. Highlight the items you want to include and then click that icon to create a reference list. 

Select the citation style from the box that appears, select bibliography from output mode, and copy to clipboard for output method. Then, paste into your Word document. 

Word Processor Plugins

Of the different ways to automatically generate bibliographies (as well as in-text citations and footnotes), the easy-to-use word processor plugins are the most powerful. These plugins, available for Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs, create dynamic bibliographies: insert a new in-text citation in your manuscript, and the bibliography will be automatically updated to include the cited item. Correct the title of an item in your Zotero library and with a click of a button the change will be incorporated in your documents. To get started with these Zotero plugins, see the links here:


About Zotero

Zotero is an easy way to collect, organize and share your citations with your peers. In many ways, it is a hybrid of social networking websites and citation management software. It is compatible with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Open Office, and other free word processing programs. Zotero is compatible with screen reading software.

Zotero is open source software by an independent, nonprofit organization. Zotero maintains that they have no financial interest in your private information and data.

UNCParkLib. (2019, Feb 19). Using Zotero. [Video file]. Retrieved from