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Zotero - Collect, Organize, Cite and Share your Research Sources   Tags: citation manager, citing, cloud, collaborate, organizer, reference manager, research, sharing, zotero  

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.
Last Updated: Nov 11, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Introduction Print Page

Zotero Guide Book

Cover Art
Zotero - Jason Puckett
Call Number: PN171 Foo.Pu 2011
ISBN: 9780838985892
Publication Date: 2011-06-01

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What is Zotero?


Zotero is a free bibliographic citation management software that allows you to save, collect, manage, cite, and share research sources. Zotero is available either as a Firefox extension or as standalone software that works with Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers. It works right in your browser, making it easy to save you citations while you search.

Use the Zotero word processor plugins to easily cite your sources and create a bibliography while you work.

Note: While Zotero is a free software, the Zotero cloud storage has a limit of 2 gigabyte. Anything more than 2 gigabyte, you would have to pay for extra storage.


What can Zotero do?


Pros and Cons of Zotero

Some points to consider before you start using Zotero:


  • Great for importing records for non-traditional references, like wikis and websites.
  • Helps to organize web screenshots and PDFs. You can make PDFs searchable by choosing to index them in the preferences menu. 
  • Easily imports records from many of the resources you already use.
  • The program lives where you already do most of your research, in the browser.
  • Imports records from several major databases that won't work with EndNote & Mendeley, including Factiva, USPTO, Espacenet, & FreePatentsOnline.
  • It's user-friendly.
  • Easily retrieves PDF metadata, like title and author information.
  • Great for creating bibliographies in
  • Synchronizes collections among multiple computers & backs up data.
  • Offers option to create user profiles and groups, so you can share your collection.
  • Detects proxy servers automatically, making off-campus access to library databases easier.


  • Need to pay for extra storage space.

Google Docs and Zotero

Zotero works well with Word and OpenOffice, but you can also use it with Google Docs. (It's a little clunky, but if you're hooked on Google Docs, it's better than nothing!)

To insert a Zotero reference in Google Docs, use keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Open your Google Doc and your Zotero library.
  2. In your Zotero window, click on the record you want to cite. 
    1. To copy an end-of-document reference, use keyboard shortcut: CTRL+ALT+C. 
    2. To copy an in-text citation, use keyboard shortcut: CTRL+ALT+A.
  3. Paste it into your Google Doc.
  4. To add a bibliography at the end of your document, in Zotero, select the citations you used, right-click, select “Create Bibliography from Selected Items,” and choose “Export to Clipboard.” Then paste into Google Docs.

Resource Librarian

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Han Ming Guang

For Members of NUS Libraries only.

Contact Info
NUS Central Library
+65 6516 2030


BrowZine is now available for NUS Staff and Students

You can save citations and PDFs that you have read in Browzine into Zotero. Try it today!


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