How To Create A Bibliography In Zotero

Zotero, is a no-cost bibliographic management tool that runs on the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Zotero can: 1) organize references in multiple folders; 2) store references and files on Zotero's web site; 3) format in-text citations and post-text references according to many bibliographic styles; 4) display references on a public web page; and 5) import metadata from library subscription databases and public web sites. 

NOTE: With the release of Zotero 5.0, the plugin version of Zotero for Firefox is no longer available. Only a single Zotero Standalone program running on the Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems is available, with connecting software for whatever browser(s) you choose to use,  i.e., Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari.

Setting up a free Zotero account gives you:

1.  unlimited storage space on Zotero’s servers for your metadata (information about your sources, e.g., author, title,   publisher, etc., including your text notes);

2.  up to 300 MB of storage on Zotero’s servers for PDF and image files. You can purchase more file storage space--$20/year for 2 GB, $60/year for 6 GB, $120/year for unlimited.

You can choose to just store your source metadata on the Zotero servers and NOT store any files there.

On any computer where you install desktop Zotero, you can configure Zotero to sync your desktop data (and files, if you choose) with the content stored on Zotero’s servers.

Downloading and installing Zotero Standalone
(Also requires you to download/install Zotero Connector plugins for those browsers you use among Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera)

Screencast Tutorials from

Documentation from

Mastering Zotero: A User Guide for the Zotero Reference Manager (Sebastian Karcher and Rintze M. Zelle)

Mastering Zotero will be a comprehensive user guide for the Zotero reference manager. Writing has just started, and entries on many topics still need to be written.

Understanding Zotero - Nicholas Cifuentes-Goodbody​ 

YouTube Video Playlist

Zotero Guides from Other Libraries:​ Harvard University Library Oregon State University (Hannah Rempel) Washington State University Libraries Georgia State University (Jason Puckett)

If you just want to quickly add references to a paper, email, or blog post, Zotero's drag-and-drop Quick Copy is the easiest to go. Simply select items in the center column and drag them into any text field. Zotero will automatically create a formatted bibliography for you. To copy citations instead of references, hold down Shift at the start of the drag.

To configure your Quick Copy preferences, open the Zotero preferences menu and select Export. From this tab you can do the following:

  • Set the default export format

  • Set up site-specific export settings

  • Choose whether you want Zotero to include HTML markup when copying

You can also use Quick Copy keyboard shortcuts to copy citations and bibliographies to your system clipboard and then paste them into documents. Default shortcuts are Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-C (bibliography) and Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-A (citations).

Right-Click to Create Citation/Bibliography

To create a bibliography or a citations list in Zotero, highlight one or more references and then right-click (or control-click on Macs) to select “Create Bibliography from Selected Item(s)…”. Then select a citation style for your citation/bibliography format and choose either to create a list of Citations/Notes or a Bibliography. Then choose one of the following four ways to create your citation/bibliography:

  • Save as RTF will allow you to save the bibliography as a rich text file.

  • Save as HTML will allow you to save the bibliography as a HTML file for viewing in a web browser. This format will also embed metadata allowing other Zotero users viewing the document to capture bibliographic information.

  • Copy to Clipboard will allow you to save the bibliography to your clipboard to paste into any text field.

  • Print will send your bibliography straight to a printer.

RTF Scan

With RTF Scan, you can write in plain text, and use Zotero to finalize your citations and bibliographies in the style you want.

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