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Zotero - Collect, Organize, Cite and Share your Research Sources: Configuring Zotero

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Registering a Zotero account and syncing it

After you have installed Zotero, you need to create a Zotero account so that you can backup your references and pdf files in the Zotero cloud storage.

  • First, head to the main webpage for Zotero
  • On the top right corner of the webpage, click on register to register a Zotero account.



  • Once you have registered for an account and verified your account by clicking on the link in your email, you should sync Zotero for Firefox with your online account. For Windows users, open your Zotero click on Edit --> Preferences


  • For Mac users, open up Zotero, click on Zotero on the top left hand corner --> Preferences

  • Click on Sync and key in your username and password. You should be connected and syncing to the Zotero Cloud

Configuring Zotero with Find It@NUSL

There are times when Zotero is only able to import the citation information and not the PDF of an article. This usually happens when you attempt to import articles from Google Scholar. Due to the way we authenticate NUS users with the various databases, Zotero can only import citation information. However, Zotero is smart enough to find the full-text with just the citation information of the article.

To find and view full-text articles directly from Zotero with just the citation information, please follow the instructions below:

  • In the Advanced tab, input the URL for FindIt@NUSL ( in the Open URL Resolver box.



  • To use Find It@NUSL in Zotero, select a citation and then click the arrow key to choose “Library Lookup.” If it's available, you will be led to the full-text.


Enable PDF indexing

  • In the Search tab click on Rebuild Index and follow the instructions to make the full text of PDFs searchable

Get a Word Processor Plugin

  • In the Cite tab, click on Word Processors to get the latest version of the Microsoft Word or LibreOffice plugin. Choose the correct plugin (MS Word) to install.


  • After installing the word Processor plug-in, please check your Microsoft Word to see if it is installed properly


For Microsoft Word (2007-2017) Windows Version:

  • Please ensure that the Zotero toolbar in installed by clicking on the Zotero ribbon and checking if the Zotero toolbar is installed


For Microsoft Word 2011 (Mac Version):

  • For Microsoft Word Mac 2011 version, please ensure that there is a Zotero toolbar in your Word

  • If the toolbar does not appear in word, click on View on the top of the taskbar, choose Toolbar and make sure Zotero Bibliographic Management is checked


For Microsoft Word 2017 (Mac Version)

  • Please ensure that the Zotero toolbar in installed by clicking on the Zotero ribbon and checking if the Zotero toolbar is installed

Configuring General Preferences

In the General tab uncheck, if applicable, the following boxes under Miscellaneous.

  • If you do not want PDFs to be automatically downloaded into Zotero along with citation information, uncheck the box next to Automatically attach associated PDFs and other files when saving items.


  • Some users prefer to prevent Zotero from automatically importing subject headings from databases along with citation information, either because they do not find these useful or prefer to only use their own tagging. You may do this by unchecking the box next to Automatically tag items with keywords and subject headings.

Zotero Storage

Zotero offers 300 MB of Zotero Cloud Storage space free for individuals. However, if you need more Zotero Cloud Storage space, Zotero does offer a Zotero Storage Subscription that users can sign up for:

Storage Limit Cost (USD)
300 MB Free
2 GB $20/year (equal to $1.67 per month)
6 GB $60/year (equal to $5 per month)
Unlimited $120/year (equal to $10 per month)

In addition to individual storage subscriptions, Zotero also offers storage plans for labs and institutions

Please visit Zotero's Official Website for the latest update on Zotero Storage pricing and subscription plans.


Other storage options other than Zotero Storage

Zotero only provides 300 megabytes of free storage for your citations and PDFs. If you choose not to purchase extra storage space from Zotero, you can use free WebDAV services to increase your storage space.

Here is a list of free WebDAV storage solutions you can use.

Services Free Space Limitations WebDAV URL Notes
4shared 15 GB

Maximum file size 2 GB (unofficial) Max 5,000 files per folder (=2,500 Zotero attachments)
Box 10 GB Maximum file size 250 MB  
CloudMe 3 GB Maximum file size 150 MB{username}/xios/zotero  
DriveonWeb 3 GB The documentation is in German
HiDrive 5 GB{username}/zotero  
iDriveSync 10 GB Some users have had difficulties with this service and their documentation recommends against extensive use
Storegate 2 GB{username}/home/{username}/zoter  
Yandesk Disk 10 GB The documentation is in Russian

Visit this site for more information.

To configure Zotero to work with WebDAV storage, flirst open up Preferences in Zotero. Next click on Sync and key in the WebDAV url, the username and password of the WebDAV service you are using.

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