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Zotero operates in a similar fashion to most citation management software. You can use it to collect and organize citations, take notes, create bibliographies, and to insert citations into a document while writing. However, Zotero is a tool that is only as good as the metadata you put into it; if you have incomplete or inaccurate metadata, you will have incomplete or inaccurate citations!
There are several ways to collect citations with Zotero. Some of the most common ways to capture citations include:
Collecting Multiple Citations from Google Scholar, Web of Science, PubMed, or similar indexes and databases
Collecting Single Citations from Google Scholar
Collecting Single Citations from Web of Science or PubMed
Collections allow you to group items together as you see fit. When you have Zotero Standalone open, collections appear on the left hand side 'My Library' in the form of folder icons. Any item can be assigned to more than one collection. Just drag and drop an item onto the collection(s) you want that item to be associated with.
Tags (also called “keywords” in other programs) allow you to describe an item in more detail. You can add multiple tags to an item. Tags are also searchable. When you have Zotero Standalone open and a citation selected, the 'Tag' tab appears on the right hand side between 'Notes' and 'Related.'
Please see our guide on organizing citations for detailed information.
When Zotero Standalone is open you can sort your citations by clicking on the headers in the middle pane to toggle between ascending and descending order. To add or remove headers, click on the icon in the top-right corner of the middle pane.
You can search Zotero Standalone in two ways. The first, Quick Search, is found in the top-right corner of the middle pane. The second, Advanced Search, is found by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top-left corner of the middle pane.
Please visit the following links for detailed information:
Zotero offers plugins for word processing programs including Word and LibreOffice. The plugin adds a Zotero toolbar to your word processor that allows you to add citations to your document while you write.
If you do not see the Zotero toolbar when you open your word processor, in Zotero Standalone go to Edit > Preferences > Cite > Word Processors and install or reinstall the program.
The toolbar will allow you to search for citations in your Zotero library and change citation styles. If you need additional citation styles, you can add them from Zotero Standalone or from within your word processor. From within Zotero Standalone, go to Edit > Preferences > Cite > Styles > Get additional styles. From within Microsoft Word, go to Zotero > Document Preferences > Manage Styles.
See this FAQ for more detailed instructions with images.
To create a bibliography from within Zotero Standalone, select a collection or group of citations, right-click and choose 'Create Bibliography...' A dialog box will pop up and you can choose citation style, output mode, and output method. Please visit https://libguides.caltech.edu/CitationManagement/zotero-create-biblio for detailed instructions.
The most efficient way to create an annotated bibliography is to: