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Zotero: Citation Manager

Google Docs Integration

Zotero connects to Google Docs to create both in-text citations or footnotes and a bibliography for you right in your document. All you need is the Zotero Connector and the Zotero desktop app. To check if everything is functioning properly, open your Google Doc and look for the Zotero tab. You should see something like this: 

Screenshot of the Google Docs ribbon with a yellow circle around the tab reading "Zotero"

Cite as You Write!

First Things First

Log in to Zotero on the web with your Zotero account and open the Zotero Desktop App. 

In your Google Doc, click on the Zotero tab and select Document Preferences. A pop-up will open asking you to log into your Google Account. Follow the prompts in the new window to authenticate the plugin with your Google Account. You will need to do this each time you open a new document

A pop-up will also open in the Zotero Desktop App. After completing the above step, select the citation style you want to use.

  • Not seeing the pop-up box? Bring your Zotero Desktop App to the forefront. 
  • Not seeing the style you need? Open your Zotero Desktop App and add it (Edit, Preferences, Cite tab, then "Get additional styles")!

Adding Citations

Open your Google Doc and in the Ribbon you should see a tab for Zotero. You should see something like this: 

Screenshot of the Google Docs ribbon with the Zotero drop down menu open. A yellow arrow points to the option reading "Add/edit citation..." It is the top option in the menu.

  1. Go to where you need a citation, and click Add/edit citation... 
  2. Search for the correct citation. You can do this by title or author, then hit Enter
  3. Click on the citation and enter the page number of what you are referencing, then hit Enter

If you need to cite more than one source in the same sentence you can do that too. Highlight the in-text citation or footnote you want to add to, click on Add/edit citation... again, then enter the additional source(s). When you are completely finished, hit Enter


Creating your Bibliography

When you are ready, Zotero will create a Bibliography for you containing every source you used and in the correct format for your citation style. Simply move to the end of your document, then click Add/edit bibliography

Screenshot of the Google Docs ribbon with the Zotero drop down menu open. A yellow arrow points to the option reading "Add/edit bibliography" It is the second option in the menu. A second arrow points to the option reading "Refresh" It is the fourth option in the menu.

Fun Fact: if you go back and add, remove, or edit any of your citations, this bibliography will update for you too. All you need to do is click Refresh

Some Final Tips

Editing Citations

  • You can delete any of your citations by highlighting it and then clicking the Delete button. 
  • You can edit any of your citations by going back to your Zotero Desktop App and making the needed changes there. Then go back to your Doc and click Refresh in the Zotero tab. 

Submitting Your Writing

The document you've been working in has some embedded coding because you have been using Zotero's Cite While You Write features.

  • Before you click Unlink Citations, Save a Zotero Copy of your document. Your future self will thank you. 
    • This keeps your citations editable in case you need to make revisions.

Screenshot of the Google Docs ribbon with the Zotero drop down menu open. A yellow arrow points to the option reading "Unlink citations..." It is the last option in the menu.

  • After creating and saving a Zotero Copy of your document, unlink your citations in your Submission Copy