Olson Library Home Page Visit NMU's Home Page Olson Library Home Page Visit the NMU Home Page MyNMU EduCat


Zotero User Guide

Customize Zotero Settings for NMU

Jump to Zotero Videos

Zotero is a free Web application developed for the Firefox and Google Chrome Internet browsers which allows you to quickly format references in a multitude of styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.). Zotero allows you to collect, manage, cite, and share references you've collected for your research.

Follow directions below to install either Zotero for Firefox, or
Zotero Standalone (Chrome)

--- Zotero for Firefox ---

Check Version of Firefox
The Zotero for Firefox is a plugin for the Firefox Internet browser. If you've never used Firefox, go to All Programs, Mozilla Firefox and click Firefox to launch. The Firefox icon Firefox Logo may be in your task bar so you might be able to open Firefox from there as well. Once you have Firefox open, you need to check that it is a current version--29.0.1 or higher (Zotero has problems with earlier versions). To do this open Firefox and go to the menu heading Help, and select "About Mozilla Firefox". If it says you have a lower-numbered version, it will automatically download & install the latest version.

Firefox version


Install Zotero
Once you have the latest version, open Firefox and download Zotero and install the program. When using FireFox NMU Library faculty recommend you click on the label: Zotero for FireFox, not Zotero Standalone for FireFox. You may get the message Firefox prevented this site (www.zotero.org) from asking you to install software on your computer. Click on the Allow button.

Once installed you will need to restart Firefox. You should see a big Z in the upper-right corner of the FireFox browser (see below) and you will be taken to the Zotero web site. You do not need to register your Zotero account but you may want to do this at a later date as there are a number of advantages including the ability to back up your citations to the Zotero site, allowing you to access them from any computer at any time.

Zotero Firefox


When finished, click here to jump to installing the word processor plugin

--- Standalone Zotero (Chrome) ---

[under construction]

Install Microsoft Word/LibreOffice Plugin - Close Microsoft Word/LibreOffice before proceeding
The next step is to download the word processor plugin. This plugin allows you to create a bibliography, in-text citations, and footnotes or end notes from within a Word document. Make sure Microsoft Word is not running when you install this plugin.

When you open MS Word or other word processor after installing the plugin, the Add-in tab should appear as below. If it does not appear, follow these instructions.

Microsoft Word Plugin

There are over 6,000 citation styles available for Zotero including many styles based on individual journal titles. Zotero only comes configured with the more popular 15-20 styles but go to the Zotero Style Repository and you can add any of the additional styles.

You are now ready to use Zotero. The videos below will show you how to use the key features of this program.

We also recommend you click on Customize Zotero Settings for NMU to make Zotero work better with NMU resources.

Using Zotero
The following videos will take you through the process of importing citations into your Zotero databases, manually creating an entry in Zotero, organizing your citations by collection, and using the MS Word feature to format citations in your research paper. The first two videos have some overlap. However, it is helpful to see how to import citations more than once. Also, the second video goes into more details.

As with most things, Zotero is not perfect. Always check your citations for accuracy. Zotero will not correct data or capitalized titles for instance. Be sure to check the data for each citation. You can always edit the citations in Zotero.

  1. Quick Bibliographic Demo (3:50) - A quick overview of importing citations from Websites or databases

  2. Getting Stuff Into Zotero (4:03) - A more detailed presentation on importing citations into Zotero.

  3. Manually Adding Items (3:05) - Shows you how to manually create a database entry

  4. Organizing Your Sources (3:07) - Shows you how to create folders to manage your citations.

  5. Zotero and Microsoft Word (2:55) - Shows you how to use the Zotero plugin with MS Word to create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies. There is also a helpful User Guide for the word processsor plugin.

Additional videos can be viewed at the Zotero Screencast Tutorials page.

Library Hours
Mon: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Tue: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wed: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thu: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Fri: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat: 12:00 noon - 8:00 p.m.
For exceptions and full year hours