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Zotero Workshop for English and Literature Grad Students: Getting Started

working outline for Responsible Conduct of Research sessions, November 2010

FIRST: Download

First of all, you must have Firefox on your laptop—Zotero is a Firefox plugin at the moment.  If you don’t have it already, download it here.

To download Zotero, visit and hit the big red button.  You’ll need to restart Firefox once you’re finished.

To "cite as you write," add a plugin to Word or Open Office.  Restart that program too.

SECOND: Set Preferences

The default preferences are mostly good, but it's helpful to change a few settings:

Open Zotero and click on the "gear" menu, then select "preferences."

* On the General tab, check the box "automatically attach associated PDFs."

* On the Sync tab, Create Account for Zotero server syncing

* On the Search tab, click the bar to Install PDF Indexers

* On the Proxies tab, uncheck "automatically remember proxied resources."

Zotero Support

Zotero maintains excellent help pages:

From EndNote to Zotero

Exporting references from EndNote to Zotero:

  1. Open the EndNote library you want to export.
  2. From the File menu choose Export.
  3. Choose RefMan (RIS) Export as your output style.
  4. Save the file to your desktop.
  5. In Zotero, click on the gear icon and choose Import.
  6. Select the text file that you just saved to your desktop and click Open.

From RefWorks to Zotero

  1. In your RefWorks account, go to REFERENCES > EXPORT
  2. Select 'All references'
  3. Select BIBTEX format, and click 'EXPORT'. Your references should appear in a new browser window or tab. If not, make sure that popup windows are not blocked.
  4. Copy and paste the text into a .txt file, and save. Choose UTF-8 as the encoding if you have any non-English references in your list.
  5. Back in ZOTERO, click on the little gear icon (ACTIONS) at the top > Import
  6. Select the text file you created earlier; your database will be imported to the default folder in ZOTERO.

Start Building Your Library

Add items two ways: automatically and manually

AUTOMATICALLY from library catalog, library database, many websites with Zotero translators. 

Zotero detects – click on icon

Library catalog:  single book = book icon;  list of books = folder (puts in Zotero, you select which ones you want)

Library databases

Add PDF:  highlight URL, drag and drop.  Right click on pdf in library to "retrieve metadata for PDF"

Website: click on “Create New Item from Current Page”  blue page icon at bottom

  • Saves image
  • Can be annotated
  • Is it indexed and searchable?  Click on plus sign, then camera – look at right side Indexed yes or no
  • To index, right click on item and choose “reindex item”

MANUALLY from sites without translator:  green plus button – choose type of item

Organize, Annotate and Search

Collections:  are sub libraries, separate groups of references – they always continue to be in “My Library” – one item can be in multiple collections

  • Create collection by clicking on folder icon on top left “Create New Collection"
  • Drag and drop items

Tags: select items and choose “tags” in right hand column – can use a tag “Need more information”  “Need more metadata” for things that you know are incomplete but don’t have time to fix

Notes: select item, right click and choose “add note” – notes are searchable

Search:  use the search box at top, or click magnifying glass – if it’s indexed, it’s searchable

Write and Cite with Zotero

Zotero plugin for word processors adds a toolbar to Word (e.g., Add-Ins)

To insert citation, click first toolbar button, "Zotero Insert Citation"

To add bibliography, go to end of your document and click third toolbar button, "Zotero Insert Bibliography"

Zotero references can be dragged and dropped into any document

Sync and Collaborate

Syncing:  sync with Zotero server, access your library from multiple computers.  Server accounts are free (100 mb). Sync can be slow.   To sync you need an account:

  •  Open library
  •  Click on gear icon, choose preferences
  •  Click on sync
  • Click on Create Account;  create account; add username and pw info to Sync tab

Creating group library:  everyone needs Zotero account.  Top left, people icon “New Group”.  Invite others to join library.

Portable Firefox: carry your library with you

  • Download it to your flash drive
  • Download Zotero to Portable Firefox

Putting existing references into Zotero

Use the Wizfolio program to take references from a pre-existing bibliography (such as a Word document) and import them into Zotero.  You won't capture all of the bibliographic information, but you'll have them with your other materials in Zotero.  To find out how to use Wizfolio, watch this screencast.

Associate Curator of Collections

Sara Seten Berghausen
David M. Rubenstein Library
080K Rubenstein Library

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