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An in-depth guide to using Zotero.

Other browsers

If you're using a mobile browser, you can still save items to your Zotero library. A free Zotero account is required.

The Zotero Bookmarklet works with all desktop browsers and most mobile browsers (including Safari for iPad and the Android browser).

Visit the Zotero Bookmarklet page for installation instructions for your particular browser or device. You won't have to install any software -- just the bookmarklet!

Adding items by ISBN or other identifier

Have the book in front of you and want to add it to your Zotero library without having to search for a citation?

If you have a book's ISBN, an online article's DOI or PMID number, just click the magic wand button: "Add item by identifier." Type in the book or article's number, and Zotero will automatically download its information and save it to your library.

However, this method will not automatically include the PDF of articles. If you'd like to have those linked to your citations, you may want to add citations by searching a database instead.

Adding PDF files that you already have

  1. Drag files over into the collection you'd like to add them to.
  2. Right-click the PDFs and choose "Retrieve Metadata for PDFs."  Zotero will retrieve their citation data from Google Scholar and turn them into citeable items with PDF attachments.

If Zotero can't find a match on Google Scholar, don't worry -- you can still save the citation from another catalog or article database, then drag the PDF onto the citation to make it an attachment.

In which collection/folder did I put a reference?

If you're wondering in which collection(s) a reference is located, simply click on the reference within your library and hold down the Control key. The folder in which the reference is organized will become highlighted. This also works within folders: if you're wondering if you have a reference saved in an additional folder, click on the reference and hold down the Control key. Other collections/folders that house the reference will be highlighted.

To find citations that you haven't filed in any collection yet, just click on the Unfiled Items link in the left pane.

Zotero + EndNote

It's easy to use EndNote Web and Zotero together and take advantage of the best features of each, or to share Zotero libraries with colleagues using EndNote Web or vice versa. Both programs can read and write a standard citation file format called RIS, which means references can be converted back and forth with a few clicks.

PDFs and other attachments do not export between programs; only citation information can be transferred.

Zotero to EndNote Web

To save your Zotero library for importing into EndNote Web, go to the File menu and choose "Export Library."

Choose RIS as the Format and keep the Export Notes option checked. Press OK and save the file to an easy-to-find location on your computer, such as your desktop.

In EndNote Web, click on the Import References link, found under the Collect tab.

Click the "Choose File" button and select the file you just exported from Zotero. Set Import Option to "RefMan RIS" and click Import.

EndNote to Zotero

To export your EndNote library for use in Zotero, click select the Export References option under the Format tab. Choose your collection (or entire library,) and choose the "RefMan (RIS) Export" type. Make sure that the file is being saved as a text (.txt) file and save it to a convenient location, such as your desktop.

In Zotero, click on the File menu button and choose Import.

Find your saved text file and click Open. The citations have now been added to your Zotero library as a Collection.