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Zotero: Citation Manager

Navigating Zotero

Zotero Interface

  • Left Column: shows the default folders (Duplicate Items, Unfiled Items, Trash) along with any collections (folders) you create.
    • Clicking on My Library will show you all the items you have entered into Zotero.
  • Center Column: shows the contents of the collection selected in the left column.
    • Right-clicking on an item will give you several options, such as viewing the pdf, accessing the record online, and creating a bibliography of the item.
  • Right Column: shows the details of the citation selected in the center column.
    • To add to or edit the information about each source, click on a field in the right column.
    • The right column also contains links to tabs for Notes, Tags, and Related.

Organizing your Citations

Folders in Zotero are referred to as Collections. You can also created sub-collections within a collection. Unless a specific collection is selected, Zotero places items that are being imported into a new collection.

Creating New Collections and Adding Items

  1. Click on File > New Collection from menu toolbar at the top of the screen. Name the collection.
  2. When you add a new item you have the options to place it into a current collection or create a new collection.
    • Importing an item from a third party: If you want to add the citation to a specific folder. Select the collection from the left-hand column that you would like to import the item to. Follow the steps to download and import the item. When the dialog box for Import Options opens, uncheck the box Place imported collections and items into a new collection.
    • Import from Zotero Connector: Use the dropdown menu to choose the collection you would like to import to.
    • Importing Manually or using Magic Wand: Make sure you have the collection you would like to enter the item into selected.
    • Drag and Drop: You can drag and drop any item from one collection and add it to a different collection of your choosing.

Managing PDFs

Zotero can store pdfs of items to allow you easy access.

  • To see if you have the pdf attached to your item, in the center column, click on the wedge .
  • This will show you a listing of all the attachments that the item has attached to it, including the PDF.
  • Sometimes pdfs come with generic or non-descriptive file names. To rename it, right click on the pdf and choose Rename File from Parent Metadata.

Attaching PDF to an Item

When you have a pdf (from a database, from interlibrary loan, from a colleague…), it can easily be added to your Zotero Library.

  1. Drag the pdf file into your Zotero Standalone client, into My Library or into a specific collection.
  2. Now right click on the pdf in the center pane and choose “Retrieve Metadata for PDF.” Or this may have happened automatically!