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Writing for Exercise Science

A helpful guide for students, faculty, and staff in Exercise Physiology.

Why Reinvent the Wheel?

A citation manager is a great tool to help you keep track of your articles. WVU supports three different citation managers: 

Personally, I recommend Zotero. Not only can you use a browser extension to easily import sources from various databases and websites, but you also can create in-text citations as you write your article and Zotero will build and update your bibliography automatically as you add in-text citations. Using Zotero is a win-win!

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a convenient tool to help you sort, store, and most importantly cite sources for your papers. They have tools to help you write in-text citations, create your bibliography, and identify duplicates in sources you've imported. The best part? Zotero is completely free!

Create an Account:

Step 1: Go to Zotero.org

Step 2: Click on "Download"

  • Click the blue Download button to download the Zotero desktop app
  • Click Log In to create your account
    • Use whatever email you prefer - be prepared to verify your email address
    • DO NOT use your WVU password

Step 3: Install Zotero & the Zotero Connector

  • Click on the blue Download button and follow the prompts
  • Click on the Install [your browser] Connector button
  • Zotero for Word or LibreOffice should automatically install

Trust me, you want to do this. It will save you time and work in the future. You can thank me later!

Adding Citations

After opening the Zotero desktop app, you can add sources to Zotero

  • Using the Zotero Connector
  • Using the Magic Wand
  • Using the database Export or Save function, or 
  • by entering it Manually

It requires another download, but I highly recommend using the Zotero Connector. You can import any type of source with the click of a button without needing to even open the desktop app!


Using the Zotero Connector

... you can export citations from any website with the push of a button! And when I say "any website" I mean any website, including library databases. The Zotero Connector is smart and will even tell you what type of source you are exporting.

Four side by side images of the Zotero Connector browser extension in use: 1. Zotero Connector as an article; 2. Zotero Connector as Dissertation; 3. Zotero Connector as book; 4. Zotero Connector as folder

  • When ready to export the citation, click the Connector button, and follow the prompts. 

Using the Magic Wand

... you can copy and paste an article's ISBN, DOI, PMID, or arXiv IDs to easily add it to your Zotero library.

Picture of the Zotero Dashboard with the Magic Wand entry icon circled. Text on the box that appears reads "Enter ISBNs, DOIs, PMIDs, or arXiv IDs to add to your library:" PMID is underlined

  • Once you are on a record you want to import from PubMed, click the magic wand icon, then copy and paste the PMID for that article into the box to import the article. It works like magic!

Using the Database Export or Save function

... you can export a group of citations directly to your Zotero Account. This will look different for each database, but here is how to do this in PubMed.

A compilation of three screenshots from PubMed and Zotero. First screenshot: there is an arrow pointing to a button reading "Send to" located directly below the search bar in PubMed. Then there is an arrow pointing to "Citation Manager" in the drop down menu created by clicking "Send to."; Second screenshot: this shows what PubMed looks like after you click "Citation Manager" in the previous screenshot. There is text reading "Create a file for external citation management software", then "Selection:" where you choose how you want to export your results based on your needs (the example reads "All results"), then an arrow pointing to the button "Create file."; Third screenshot: this is the top left corner of the Zotero desktop app. There is an arrow pointing to the "File" button, and then inside of the drop down menu that creates, an arrow pointing to "Import..."

  • Once you have selected the articles you want to save, scroll to the top of PubMed and click Send to, and then select Citation Manager
  • Choose the selection of results you want to save, then click Create file
    • Look for the RefMan or RIS file option.
  • Inside your Zotero Desktop App, click File, then Import..., and select the file you just created. You can find it at the top of your Downloads folder when it is organized by Date Modified

By entering it Manually

... you will manually need to enter every relevant piece of information for the source to cite correctly. This is definitely the most time consuming way to add citations to Zotero, but sometimes it is necessary. 

Screenshot of part of the Zotero Desktop App. There is an arrow pointing to the button to add a source manually (green circle with a white plus sign on it). Inside of the drop down menu created by clicking the add a source manually button there is an arrow pointing to the "More" option, which opens a side menu that is cut short in the screenshot. There is a double ended arrow pointing both up and down in this side menu, meaning to imply that there are more options for sources available above and below what is pictured.

  • After clicking the button to manually add a source, you will have many options to choose from to format your citation. Click the one that best represents the source you are trying to cite, then type in the information for each needed field.
    • Depending on the source, all the available fields may not be necessary.