About the Library
Zotero is a free Web application developed for the Firefox Internet browser that 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.
Check Version of Firefox
Zotero only works with the Firefox Internet browser. If you've never used Firefox, go to All Programs, Mozilla Firefox and click Firefox to launch. The Firefox icon 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 version 3.6 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 version less than 3.6, go to Firefox and download the latest version.
Once you have version 3.6 or higher, open Firefox and download Zotero and install the program. 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 the word Zotero in the bottom right corner of your Firefox screen (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.
Install Microsoft Word Plugin
The next step is to download the Microsoft Word 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 after installing the plugin, the Add-in tab should appear as below. If it does not appear, follow these instructions.
There are over 2,700 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 2,749 styles.
You are now ready to use Zotero. The videos below will show you how to use the key features of this program.
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.
Additional videos can be viewed at the Zotero Screencast Tutorials page.