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Zotero: Getting Started with Zotero

Information about the free online citation and research management tool Zotero

What is Zotero for?

Zotero is a tool that collects, manages, and cites the sources you find during your research. In addition to saving a citation, you can add notes and images in your Zotero library and in many cases automatically download PDFs.

You can use Zotero to: 

  • Create and organize a personal database of references
  • Import references automatically from many websites and electronic library resources
  • Format bibliographies in your papers

Why Zotero? 

There are a few reasons to prefer Zotero over other tools. 

  • Your Zotero library is saved locally and can be synced across multiple computers and an online account
  • Zotero can be used offline
  • Zotero allows you to create and share group libraries
  • Learning Zotero is easy

Where can I find Zotero?

Download Zotero from

  1. Download the Zotero application for your operating system. If you plan to use Zotero with a word processor, close all word processing applications before running the installer. 
  2. When installing the Zotero connector, the option you are given depends on which browser you are using to access the page. In the example above, I used Chrome to access the Zotero site, so it prompted me to install the Chrome connector.  Connectors are also available for Firefox and Edge. Use those browsers to access the Zotero page if you want to install their connectors. You can add as many connectors as you want -- they will all connect to your Zotero application. 

Note: The Zotero Connector for Safari is bundled with Zotero 6.0. After opening Zotero 6.0 for the first time, you can enable it from the Extensions pane of the Safari preferences. The Zotero Connector for Safari requires Safari 15 on macOS 11 Big Sur or later. If you experience issues with the Safari connector, check out the documentation on the Zotero website.

Getting Started with Zotero

Zotero provides the ability to save references from many library catalogs and article databses with one click. Your Zotero library allows you to organize and edit the entries.

Collections: The left column shows My Library, which contains all the items. Clicking the button above the left column creates a new collection, a folder into which items relating to a specific project or topic can be placed.

Below that is the tag selector, where tags assigned to items can be added or removed.

Items: The items pane displays a list of all the items in each collection with icons that indicate the type of item (book, article, thesis, screenshot, etc.).

Item Details: This pane displays the bibliographic information that was imported by Zotero for each item. Each field can be edited. There are also options to add additional notes, attachments, links to the original sources, tags, and subject headings.

How to Install Zotero

Zotero Workshop (from Georgia State University)

Zotero Migration

The campuswide license to EndNote came to an end on July 31. Discontinuing our license to EndNote has been under consideration, however this decision was expedited due to billing issues with the vendor. Moving forward, EndNote users will have three options. 

Option 1: We recommend that EndNote users migrate their libraries to the open source platform, Zotero. Much like EndNote, Zotero collects, manages, and cites research references. It's easy to use and connects with your web browser to download sources. You can request Zotero support by emailing

Option 2: EndNote users who wish to stay with the platform may choose to switch their OSU license to an individual license. Please note, there is a cost to the individual to pursue this option.

Option 3: EndNote users may migrate to the free EndNote Basic if they have fewer than 50,000 references and 2GB of PDFs saved to their EndNote library, however it should be noted that we will discontinue EndNote support in the fall. If you choose to use EndNote basic, we also recommend using EndNote Click, a free browser extension that makes adding PDFs and citations to EndNote Basic very easy.

EndNote: Expired License

EndNote: Expired Subscription 

Now that OSU's EndNote subscription has expired, your OSU installation of EndNote has reverted to a feature restricted Viewer. The data in your library has not been lost and can be restored by reactivating. After the program reverts to an EndNote Viewer, you will still be able to open EndNote libraries, search, sort, and print references. However, with the EndNote Viewer you cannot:

  • Add or edit references in a library that has 10 or more references already in it.
  • Format more than 10 citations in a paper.
  • Retrieve more than 10 references from a remote database.
  • Import more than 10 references.
  • Export more than 10 references at one time.
  • Sync with EndNote online.

There are ways you may be able to access your entire library or libraries:

  1. If you ever synchronized with an EndNote online account, you can find your references at
  2. You can install a 30-day free trial of EndNote on another computer. You can obtain the 30-day trial here: and create a new library. Do not simply open your existing library with the Trial version on a new computer as it will then expire as well. With this option, it is best to reach out to EndNote Technical Support for assistance with the library transfer.
  3. You can obtain a new license of EndNote. Once your updated license is activated, you will be able to access all of your library files.

Have EndNote citations in Word and are now stuck?

  • Unfortunately, converting EndNote citations to Zotero in Word is not possible
  • However, if you have synced with EndNote online (, you can still use the Cite While You Write feature with the free EndNote Basic product. EndNote provides an overview of the Cite While You Write functions available in EndNote basic and how to access them.
  • Note that if you already had the EndNote add-in for Word, you may need to delete and install again
  • If you have not previously synced, you will need to contact Clarivate for support