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Learn how to use the free citation management software Zotero.

1. Download Zotero for Mac/Win/Linux & Browser Plug-in

Basic Instructions: 


  1. Go to the Zotero Download page.
  2. Click on the Zotero for Mac OSX or Zotero for Windows link according to your system.
  3. Install the software as you would any other software program (see downloads to open).
  4. Open the Google Chrome browser or Firefox browser. Install the Chrome or Firefox connector (Safari is not suggested).browser connector buttons
  5. Confirm the plug-in is installed by looking for the Zotero icon in the upper right corner of your browser window:


zotero icon in chrome browser


Zotero plugin for firefox icon

Video Instructions:

2. Sync Zotero on Desktop

Now that you have Zotero for Desktop and your Zotero browser plug-in, you need to sync your accounts. This will make sure everything shows up when you add citations. Think of it like Apple iCloud or Google Drive. You add a document or photo in one place and it shows up across all the platforms.

Basic Instructions:

  1. Open Zotero Desktop on your computer:
  2. In Zotero, find the Sync function:
    • For Mac OSX, in the top navigation menu > click Zotero > Preferences > Sync tab.
    • For Windows, in the top navigation menu > Edit > Preferences > Sync tab.

open zotero preferences to sync account

  1. On the Sync tab, enter your Zotero email address and password you just made. Select OK. For more on syncing, see Zotero's documentation.

Video Instructions on Syncing Your Zotero Account