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Zotero: Enhance Your References

Information on using Firefox's citation-management add-on, Zotero.

Edit References

To edit information about items in your library:

  1. Click on the citation you would like to change in the Middle Panel.
  2. In the Right Panel, click on the field that you would like to change and type in the new information.
  3. To change the field type, for example, from author to editor, click on the field for a dropdown list.

Relationships between References

You can also create a link between one item and another by adding a relationship between the two items. To add a relationship:

  1. Click on Related tab in the Right Panel.
  2. Click on the Add button.
  3. Select a citation to which you would like to relate the item and click OK.

Add Attachments

You can attach files to individual citations in your library. This is useful when you have saved electronic versions (PDFs) of the articles that you are citing and would like to associate them with the corresponding citations. To add an attachment:

  1. Select the citations to which you would like to attach your file in the Middle Panel.
  2. Click on the Paperclip icon in the Top Menu.
  3. You can attach a file by choosing Attach Link to File or by choosing Attach Stored Copy of File. By linking to a file, you are creating a file path to the document stored on your computer. If you choose to store a copy of the file, the entire document will be saved within Firefox.

Organizing Your Library

Click the Zotero button at the bottom of your browser to open your library. At the top left is a folder button with a green plus sign. Click this to create a new "collection."

Create collections to organize your references. Collections are like file folders on your computer, but a reference can be in more than one collection at a time. In other words, a book on the Civil War could be filed in your "Civil War" collection, your "Georgia History" collection and your "19th Century America" collection without having to make three copies of the reference.

Work with Tags

 Individual items can be tagged to facilitate searching and organizing. Items can have more than one tag.

To add your own tag to a citation:

  1. Select the citation you would like to tag in the Middle Panel.
  2. Click on the Tags tab in the Right Panel, and then click on the Add button.
  3. Name your tag in the field that appears. Your tag will then be attached to the selected reference and will appear as part of your tag list in the Left Panel. If you click on the tag in the tag list, all citations with this tag will appear in the Middle Panel.

Note: Some items saved from online catalogs will automatically include associated tags. You can turn off this automatic tag importation in 'Preferences' on the General tab.

Create Notes

You can add notes to your references using Zotero's rich-text note editor.

To add a note to a reference:

  1. Select the citation you would like to add a note to in the Middle Panel.
  2. Click on the Notes tab in the Right Panel, then click on the Add button.
  3. A dialog box will appear into which you can type your note. You can also add tags and related items to the citation you selected in this box by clicking on Related or Tags in the bottom of the frame.
  4. For articles without a link or snapshot, you can create multiple notes. For articles with a link or a snapshot, you are only allowed to create one note.

 To store a note independent of a reference in your library:

  1. Click on the New Standalone Note icon (Add a new note 
icon) in the Middle Panel.
  2. A box will appear in the Right Panel for you to enter your note.
  3. When you are finished, the note will be saved with your references and will be accessible from the Middle Panel. The default name is the first few lines of text in the note.

To create a note from a document or webpage that you are currently viewing:

  1. Highlight the text that you would like to cite.
  2. Right-click on the text to open the Options menu.
  3. Click on Create Zotero Item and Note from Selection. Your text will be saved as a note for the citation of your current page.