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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


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.

Zotero Speak

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