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Information on using this free citation management tool to help you save and organize citations and automatically create formatted bibliographies.

Contact Information

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- ScholarSpace -

Zotero Key Features

Zotero logo

  • Automatically extract citation information from websites, library catalogs, databases, and more.
  • Save PDF files, images, screenshots, and other files.
  • Record your research notes.
  • Automatically create formatted bibliographies in many different styles.
  • Use Zotero with word processing programs like Microsoft Word.
  • Sync the citations and files you save online.
  • Access your saved information from anywhere.
  • Share your saved information online with groups.
  • Use Zotero -- an open source tool -- for free.

View Zotero video tutorials

View Zotero how-to documentation

To get Started                        

Go to and click on the red Download button.


Zotero Installation Instructions

To install Zotero on your personal computer or laptop and create your online account for syncing:

1) Visit and follow prompts for your browser and operating system.  Download and install Zotero 5.0 for your operating system (Mac or Windows or Linux) on your laptop.  Also install the Zotero Connector for your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari).



2) Click Register in the top right of the page to create a free online Zotero account for syncing online."


3)  Installing Zotero should also install a Word add-in that lets you integrate Zotero with MS Word.  When you open Word, you should see a Zotero tab in the ribbon, or a Zotero toolbar on older versions of Word. 



If you do not see this, or if you ever need to reinstall the Word add-in, go to Zotero, open Preferences, go to the Cite tab, click on Word Processors, and click on Install (or Reinstall) Microsoft Word Add-in.



4)  To set up syncing between your local Zotero library and you online Zotero account, open your local Zotero Preferences, go to the Sync tab, and enter your account information.  You can also choose whether to sync automatically, and whether or not you wish to sync full text PDFs.






5)  Zotero comes with a handful of popular citation styles installed.  To add additional styles, go to Preferences, pick the Cite tab, and click Styles.  Then click on Get additional styles... and find the style you need by searching in the large list of styles presented, and then click it to add the style you want.


More Help with Zotero

- Attend a Zotero workshop 

- Schedule a consultation


- View screencast tutorials 

Citation Manager Comparison


  • Free to download from
  • Install standalone program locally; install web connector and MS Word plugin; create free online account
  • Provides syncing of local database with online account
  • Easy to use
  • Web browser plugin provides one-click capture of citations to articles, books, web pages, etc
  • Best choice for capturing web-based and other non-standard sources (i.e., non-journal or book)
  • Well supported
  • Excellent integration with MS Word and LibreOffice
  • Integration with Google Docs currently is in beta development
  • Also has a related tool, ZoteroBib, available, a simple easy to use web site for generating properly styled citations with no additional software, similar to web sites like EasyBib or Citation Machine.   Available at
  • Provides support for 9121 bibliographic styles
  • Provides free online storage and syncing up to 300Mb; more available for a fee
  • Collaboration:  create an unlimited number of both private and public online groups to share citations and PDFs; you can access and manage those groups both online and in the standalone desktop version
  • Available in versions for Mac, Windows, and Linux



  • Not free, unless your unit or school provides you with a license (for example, LS&A does)
  • EndNote X8 for both Mac and Windows available for purchase at the Computer Showcase (;  $249 for faculty and staff, $125 for students
  • Standalone program installed locally;  can also create and sync with free online account (EndNote Basic) 
  • Provides syncing of local database with online account
  • The most powerful and full-featured citation manager;  also the most complex to learn and use
  • Well supported
  • The most powerful and flexible integration with MS Word
  • Has the most features for working with very long documents (e.g., books, dissertations, etc)
  • Ability to directly import PDF files and annotate them
  • Provides support for 6770 bibliographic styles
  • Provides unlimited online storage for users of the desktop software
  • Collaboration:  Share your library with up to 100 other EndNote Desktop users;  can also share private groups on EndNote Basic
  • Available in versions for Mac and Windows



  • Free to download from
  • Provides syncing of local database with online account
  • Provides support for over 1000 bibliographic styles
  • Support from the publisher has been inconsistent
  • Excellent integration with MS Word
  • Has the best tools for direct import of PDF files and has the ability to annotate PDF files directly
  • Includes access to a large network or “social media” of other Mendeley users, including the ability to search for and share citations collectively
  • The free, non-premium Mendeley account provides up to 2Gb of online storage and up to 5 private groups of up to 25 members
  • Available in versions for Mac, Windows, and Linux


Here are some other sites that compare citation manager features:

Citation Management Options (University of Michigan)

PIM Citation Tool Comparison Chart (University of Minnesota)

Comparison of reference management software (Wikipedia, very detailed and many programs)

You may also get personal assistance in choosing a new citation manager from ScholarSpace staff, either via email or by an in-person consultation.


Where to acquire software:

If you want information about where to find and how to install these  programs:
For Zotero, go to the Zotero Installation Instructions linked to on the sidebar under the Migrate to Zotero link

For Mendeley, you can download and install it by following the link here
To create a free EndNote Basic account, go here
The full version of EndNote that you would install on your computer is not free software.  You can purchase it from the Computer Showcase in either Shapiro or the Duderstadt Center;  more info here, or see these pages for purchase info:

EndNote Mac Student

EndNote Mac Faculty/Staff

EndNote Windows Student

EndNote Windows Faculty/Staff

You may also wish to check to see if your school or department will provide you with an EndNote license.  Some units on campus provide software for their affiliates.  For example, LS&A provides EndNote licenses for LS&A faculty and students;  move information on that is here.