Skip to Main Content

University Library


What is Zotero?

Zotero (pronounced zoh-TAIR-oh) is a free, open source citation manager that helps you organize your research and citations across multiple platforms, formats, and projects. It looks for and gathers citation information for any webpage you are viewing, including:  books, articles, videos, audio clips, sources from databases, OneSearch, websites (like Amazon), and more. Zotero lives in your web browser and on your computer and lets you quickly and easily save sources with one click.  It can even be added as an extension to your Microsoft Word and Google documents. 

Unlike other citation managers, Zotero is open source and owned by an independent non-profit organization, not a corporation. This means it takes a more democratic approach to organizing and sharing information and will not prioritize one format or publishing company over others. It also does not sell your data.  It truly is an open source resource.

What Can Zotero Do?

  • Zotero can create in-text citations and bibliographies in over 9,000 citation styles, including MLA and APA, and it supports over 30 languages.
  • Items are organized into drag-and-drop research collections, similar to an iTunes library, and it is completely searchable.
  • The program can create references and bibliographies directly inside Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and LibreOffice (but will work with any text editor).
  • You can save and sync your research library across multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones.
  • You can save and annotate PDFs with Zotero.
  • It allows you to collaborate remotely with colleagues and students to share your own work and sources, as well as discover what others are citing, to expand upon your sources and discover new research.

Need a Single Bibliography?

Zotero works great for keeping track of sources across many projects and classes. It also works for single, stand-alone projects, like research papers; however, if you need a single bibliography and are in a hurry, you may want to check out Zotero's ZoteroBib first at