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Zotero: NMU Customization Guide

Created by Mike Strahan
rev. 08/26/2014

Zotero is a free Web application developed for Firefox, Chrome, & Safari Internet browsers that allows you to quickly cite in-text and 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.

This guide will walk you through modifying the Preferences tabs screens to configure Zotero.

Important: This guide is intended for users who have just installed Zotero for the first time.

If you already have entries loaded into a past Zotero installation, we recommend you backup your Zotero folder before proceeding, and then after completing customizing, copy your old Zotero folder to the new location on the Desktop.

Please connect to the Internet while configuring Zotero.

If you have not yet downloaded and installed Zotero, please see the Library's Installing Zotero guide for directions with screen shots.


PLEASE SKIP THIS STEP IF YOUR ZOTERO ALREADY CONTAINS ENTRIES!

You need to decide where to save your Zotero files & retrieved articles.

We highly recommend saving to the Desktop (makes it much easier when migrating to a new computer), so the first step is to create a New folder on your Desktop & name it: Zotero

To access the Preferences settings, open Zotero, then click on the Gear icon, and select Preferences.

 

Advanced tab -- Files and Folders sub-tab

Under Data Directory Location, click on the Choose button and select the newly-created Zotero folder.

 

Zotero will add the information to the screen similar to above, but with your username.

If you installed the standalone version, you will be prompted that it must re-start Zotero.

If you installed Zotero for FireFox, you will be prompted that is must re-start FireFox.


We recommend clicking OK after changing each tab screen, and then re-opening Preferences.

Advanced users may opt to not click OK until the end to save changes.

To access the Preferences settings, open Zotero, then click on the Gear icon, and select Preferences.


 

Advanced tab - General sub-tab

Modify OpenURL Custom Resolver:

Replace: http://worldcatlibraries.org/registry/gateway

with: http://zc9gn3am3j.search.serialssolutions.com

[either copy & paste, or right-click & Copy link address & paste]

 


General tab (STANDALONE VERSION - Chrome or Safari)

On the General tab you may adjust the User Interface font size & Note font size (recommendations below).

Also recommend checking all boxes on this section.


 

General tab (Zotero for FireFox version)

For the FireFox integrated (plug-in) version, the General screen is different. On the General tab you may adjust the User Interface including how load Zotero (browser, separate tab or app tab--we recommend Browser pane), type of Status Bar icon, font size & Note font size (recommendations below).

Also recommend checking all boxes on this section.


Sync tab

Only use if you plan on creating an account & using storage on Zotero server for yourself or group work.

Enter the username & password used when you created account on Zotero web site.

Note that Sync does not replace making regular backups of your local Zotero files, and cannot be used to restore your Zotero files if your hard drive is damaged or requires re-imaging.

 


Search tab

PDF Indexing is a feature which allows you to drag-and-drop previously downloaded pdf files into Zotero, and then have it search for metadata on that file & create an entry for you.

In order for that feature to function, you must first go to the Search tab & click on the Check for installer button to install the PDF Indexing programs. Installation is quick.

 

 


Cite tab -- Word Processors sub-tab

It is highly recommended using the classic insert citation interface. So on the Word Processors sub-tab,
check the box next to the label: Use classic Add Citation dialog


Cite tab -- Styles sub-tab - VERY IMPORTANT

There are over 6,600 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 other styles. You may also add while inside Zotero preferences.

After clicking on the Cite tab, click on the Styles sub-tab.

Next, locate the style from the list& click on it to select.

If you do not see your specific style, click on the Get additional styles... link which will go to that web page, and search the repository for your style.

If you are using Zotero for FireFox, just click on the style name, then click the Install button.

If you are using the standalone version, right-click on the style name, select Save link as, save it to an easy-to-access place such as your Desktop. Next go to Zotero Preferences, click on the + button, and open the .csl file you just saved. Click on it to select.

Citation Options

Check the box next to the label: Include URLs of paper articles in references.


Export tab

This is another area where you should set the Default style you will use. Note that you may always change the default. Under the Default Output Format, click on the button to choose to change style.

 


IMPORTANT: You MUST click the OK button to save all changes.


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


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.



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Tue: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
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