Zotero Reference Manager -zotero.org 2 step installation, adding references fast, using zotero connector and plugin

Zotero Reference Manager -zotero.org 2-step installation, adding references, using Zotero connector and plugin

What is Zotero reference manager?

Zotero is a free easy-to-use citation management program that helps you used to collect, organize, cite, and share with collaborators. Zotero Reference Manager helps in automating academic writing citation and reference management.

This article will provide a comprehensive introduction to how to use the Zotero Reference Manager and program. It discussed installation steps and using the Zotero connector and PC plugin. The correct website for Zotero login is zotero.org and not zotero.com.

As you are undoubtedly aware, Zotero reference manager is a free, open-source reference manager that can be downloaded on mac, windows, and Linux PCs.

Zotero reference manager Installation after download

The first step to installing the application is downloading the program from its website. You need to go to their website, which can be found at https://www.zotero.org, and on the homepage, you should see a large download button.

Step One

All you have to do is click on this button, and then you can download the version of Zotero that best suits your needs by following the on-screen instructions.

Zotero Reference Manager

Step Two

When the download is finished, I recommend installing the Zotero connector for your internet browser. The Zotero Connector is a plugin that streamlines the process of saving citations and references to your Zotero library. The connector may be downloaded for use in the most popular web browsers.

Zotero PC connector for chrome
Zotero PC connector for chrome

After this step, you should have the zotero standalone program installed and the zotero connector, which is everything you need.

The Zotero standalone program

Here, we will present an overview of the zotero standalone program.

Graphical user interface, text, application Description automatically generated

The interface is rather minimal. To the left, you have the folder view. All references you create will be saved in your library, and then everything else is essentially a subfolder of that library. There’s also a “my publication” section where you can add your publications to your Zotero reference manager profile page.

A duplicate items section where any of the same references are found more than once in your library will be highlighted, and an unfiled items section will contain any references in your library that are not placed inside a collection.

There’s also a bin which contains any references that you’ve deleted, and at the bottom left of the screen, you also see any tags. The main window in the middle will show the list of references, and the window to the right will show you the information for a specific reference once it is selected.

At the top of the screen, you’ll see various options here; you can add new folders or a new library also you can manually add a reference yourself or by using an identifier. You can also add notes and attachments, and finally, there is also an advanced search tool and a search bar so you can quickly find references in your library.

How To add References To Zotero

There are three main ways you can add references to Zotero either;

Manually adding the listing by yourself,

Adding the references via an identifier or

Use the Zotero connector to add references directly from your web browser.

Manually Adding the Listing Yourself

To manually add a reference yourself, click on the new item button at the top, then simply select the type of reference you want to add.

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i’ll add a journal article as my example. It’s then a case of manually filling out the information to the right.

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After filling out the prompt, the journal will appear in the main window, and that’s how you can add references manually

Adding the references via an identifier

Zotero can read different types of identifiers and search for relevant information online. Going back to my example if i select the add item by identify option inside of zotero reference manager, I can then paste the code in and then press enter on my keyboard

Graphical user interface, application Description automatically generated

If you enter a valid identifier, Zotero will find the review article online and download all the related information. In fact, Zotero can enter a lot more information than you can manually, and it is a lot quicker than the manual method. So if available, it is always recommended to add references this way rather than manually.

Another useful thing Zotero does is download attachments if they are available. When an article is an open access, Zotero automatically downloads the pdf of the manuscript. Open-access papers can be identified by the pdf symbol dot in the attachment column. Also, if i click the arrow next to an entry in the list, you can see the full-text pdf, and if you double-click on this, the file will then open.

Graphical user interface, text, application Description automatically generated

Another thing that Zotero commonly adds for PubMed entries is the link to the reference. So if you click on this, the exact web page will open in your browser. Now moving on to the final main way of getting references into the zotero reference manager platform, and that’s by using the zotero connector plugin that we installed earlier.

Using the Zotero connector

Here, I have the review article open on the PubMed website,

Graphical user interface, text, application, email Description automatically generated

To save this entry to zotero you find the connector options on your browser. In chrome, this is in the top right corner. The button should say save to Zotero. if you click on it and then go back into the Zotero standalone program, you will see the entry has been added.

Bonus Points on Zotero Reference Manager

if you select a duplicate item, zotero will then ask you to choose the version of the item you want to keep as the master item.

I recommend selecting the entry that has the most information for that reference and then select the merge button at the top. The item will then be removed from the duplicate items page and you should then only see a single entry for that reference.

Organizing Your References

There are a few different approaches you may take to arrange the documents in your library. they involve;

  1. The use of the Tags, which is located on the right-hand part of the Zotero reference manager window, you can apply any tags to objects in order to better organize them.
  2. You may connect specific documents by selecting the Related button in the Zotero pane located to the right of your screen.
  3. You can also make or add objects to Collections. You can easily add documents to a Collection by dragging and dropping them into it after first creating the Collection by clicking on the New Collection button that is located above the left-hand part of the Zotero reference manager window. Items may be added to a number of different Collections, and you are free to amass as many Collections as you see fit.

Syncing your library on the Zotero

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When you sync your library, Zotero creates a backup of your library on the Zotero server and makes it possible for you to use Zotero on many computers. To use this feature, Open up the Zotero Preferences window once you have created a free user account on Zotero.org, and then go to the Sync tab in that window.

Note: you will need to enter your username and password for the Zotero.org website.

Make sure the “sync automatically” option is checked, then make sure both boxes under File Syncing are checked, and then choose Zotero storage for My Library. Your PDF attachments and citations will be synchronized.

when this setting is completed, your collection will automatically be uploaded to Zotero’s server. You may manually sync at any time by selecting the “Sync with Zotero Server” button that is located on the right-hand side of the Zotero toolbar.

This feature is in addition to the automated synchronization feature. Repeat the setting steps on each of your computers if you have more than one computer at your disposal. Any changes you make to the software on one of your computers will automatically be mirrored on all of them.

How to Export References from Zotero

After you have finished saving, annotating, and organizing your reference collections in Zotero, you will want to be able to export them so that you may utilize them in other applications.

Zotero has a comprehensive set of export options, allowing you to put your references into printed publications, dissertations, and web pages; share them in reading lists and course syllabi; export them to other applications; and so on.

Zotero stores references in a straightforward text database and any work that has to be done to style or format the references is done during the export process. Due to the fact that the underlying bibliographic data is kept separate from the output, it is quite simple to format and re-format the items in your Library so that they are suitable for almost any use.

For instance, if you are converting your PhD dissertation into a book and the publisher wants a certain bibliographical style, you do not need to manually modify all of your footnotes and bibliography since Zotero can do it for you. Zotero is a really useful tool.

When you install Zotero, it comes pre-packaged with a selection of the most common formats for formatting citations. The Chicago Manual of Style and the Modern Humanities Research Association styles are probably going to be the most helpful for historians.

However, the Zotero Styles Repository has a large number of additional options, some of which have been specifically tailored to meet the needs of certain journals. If the pre-installed styles do not meet your requirements, you may quickly and easily install a new style from the Repository.

Recommendations on Bibliography

Choose the Zotero references that you wish to include in a bibliography, and do so in the Zotero pane. Creating a Collection that is dedicated just to them is often the method that results in the fewest complications in this process. The next step is to right-click on the Collection folder, or choose several items from anywhere in the Library view, and then select the Create Bibliography From option from the context menu.

You will see a box where you can choose the output format as well as the citation style you want to use.

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You may find that saving the document as RTF is especially helpful when you are putting together a reading list for students to use.

You will be able to publish the bibliography as a web page if you save the document as HTML.

You will be able to directly paste the prepared bibliography into a word-processed document once you have copied the bibliography to the clipboard.

Bibliographic Data

You also can export a bibliography into various formats, which may then be imported into other bibliographic or database applications. Repeat the previous step and right-click on the objects you want to export, but this time choose the Export option.

You will be offered a number of different formats to choose from; in order to determine which of these formats will be compatible with the software to which you need to export the bibliography, you will need to consult the manual for that program (but BibTex will usually work).

It is also feasible, although in a more complicated manner, to export data from Zotero to CSV or a comparable format for the purpose of importing it into software that is not bibliographical in nature (try searching the Zotero forums for help).

Zotero’s Integration with Word Processing Systems – How to add zotero  to word

You have the option of integrating Zotero into Microsoft Word or OpenOffice, which will allow you to directly insert citations from your Zotero Library into papers as you write.

When automatically saved, Proceedings items are exported into footnotes in this manner; however, they diverge dramatically from the suggested citation forms that we provide, and you will need to utilize the Editor inside the Zotero reference manager, Add Footnote box in order to modify the formatting.

Coordination via the use of Groups

In addition to working with your personal library, you also have the ability to create Group Libraries, which you can then utilize to make it easier to work together with your coworkers (or among students). In the same way that you may organize your personal library into Collections, you can do the same thing with a Group Library.

There are three distinct categories of groups, namely:

Private means that it is only accessible to members of the group, and group administrators are the only ones who may add new members.

closed public with Group’s page on the Zotero reference manager website, but membership may only be obtained by personal invitation.

open public where Everyone who has a Zotero account may join the Group by going to the Zotero website and logging in using their credentials.

Do you prefer to watch Youtube video on Zotero Reference Manager? Find below, do well to like, share and Subscribe to the Youtube Channel: Writers King TV.  Stay tuned for zotero vs mendeley review in our next video.


The relevant link for Zotero Reference Manager

  1. Zotero reference manager Download
  2. Zotero Reference Manager Apple App Store Download link
  3. Zotero Bibliography -ZoteroBib Manager link
  4. Zotero Reference Manager GitHub link
  5. Zotero Reference Manager Installation Support
  6. Zotero Reference Manager official website
  7. Link to Register on Zotero Reference Manager

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