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Zotero   Tags: citation, free, zotero  

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Quick Links

Ready to start using Zotero? Follow the links below to explore Zotero on your own. 

Need Help?

  • Chester Kozikowski
    Contact Chester in the Law Library for additional help or questions about using Zotero @ BCLAW.
  • Zotero Documentation
    Documentation is extensive and continuously updated at Zotero. Check often for new features, improvements, and changes. If you have a suggestion, look below to the Forums.
  • Zotero Forums
    Suggestions? Troubleshooting? Citation Style suggestions? All of these can be addressed or researched in the forums.
  • Zotero Law Forum
    A forum related to issues of legal research and Zotero.


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What is Zotero?

"Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself."-- Zotero


Here is a list of some common uses for Zotero.

  • Automatically capture citations
  • Remotely back up and sync your library
  • Store PDFs, images, and web pages
  • Organize with collections, tags, and related
  • Access your library anywhere
  • Fully searchable PDFs, notes, and citations
  • Cite from within Word and OpenOffice (link)
  • Take rich-text notes in any language
  • Import/Export your library
  • Collaborate with private or public groups (link)
  • Open source, free, and updated constantly

Zotero Demo,
Watch now!

Z Demo video prompt

See more videos @
Screencast Library



Zotero is constantly changing and making improvements. If you notice new features that should be spotlighted here please alert Chester (contact information to your right).


Installing Zotero

Get Zotero iconZotero will run on any operating system. It requires Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or greater. Installation only takes a few seconds.

To install, go to and click the red "Download" button. Click "Install Now" and follow the instructions. To use all of the features available, you'll want to install the Beta Version.

If you see the message “Firefox prevented this site from asking you to install software on your computer," click "Allow".

Firefox pop up permission bar

Restart Firefox and you're all set! You'll see a small Zotero button at the bottom of your Firefox window.

If you have any problems, check the Zotero installation page.

Other Helpful Software

Zotero is a great tool, but not a perfect solution for all research. Popular databases like WestLaw and LexisNexis are not yet instantly able to be added to your library. Here is a list of other helpful research tools that others have found useful in conjunction with Zotero.

  • Cite Genie
    "Automagically copy text with correct citations from Westlaw, Lexis, and other websites."
  • Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X
    "The extension uses the built-in PDF support in Mac OS X to display PDF documents within Firefox 3."
  • Dropbox
    "A new way to sync, store and share your files online."

Zotero Speak

Below are a few key terms that Zotero uses to function and organize your data.

  • Library
    In Zotero, the library serves as your main storage place for items added. You can add books, cases, PDFs, and so on.
  • Groups
    "Groups provide a powerful way to share collections with a class, work closely with colleagues on a project, keep track of conversations in your field more broadly, and keep tabs on what people at your institution or in your department are working on."
  • Style
    "A style describes is the layout and formatting of the output from Zotero."
  • Translator
    "Site translators are the secret sauce that make Zotero so easy to use."


Creative Commons License

Boston College: LibGuide: Zotero by Chester Kozikowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on Jason Puckett's Zotero LibGuide at Georgia State University.


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