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Citation Management

This Subject Guide is designed to help your research by getting the most use out of citation managers

Create a Bibliography

Choose between three options to create a bibliography.

1. Zotero desktop: This method is great for on-going or in-depth research.

2. Plugin: This method allows you to create a bibliography directly in your document.

3. ZoteroBib: This method is useful for quick and short one-off research papers.

Zotero Desktop

Before creating a bibliography, set up your citation style.

Click Edit from the top left menu and click Preferences in the drop-down menu.

A new screen will open, as shown below. Choose your citation style from the box near the top of this screen.

When you want to insert a bibliography into your work, you have two methods.

Method 1

1. Near the top of the desktop version of Zotero, there is a bar with an Edit option. Choose Preferences.

2. Select items for the bibliography by clicking on each individual item in the center pane, or use the hotkey ctrl+a to select them all.

3. Once your items are highlighted, open the Edit menu and click Copy Bibliography. This will copy the bibliography items to your clipboard, allowing you to paste them wherever you choose.

Method 2

1. Highlight the items in the center pane.

2. Right click to show a menu of options.

3. Click Create Bibliography from Items, as shown below.


ZoteroBib is an in-browser bibliography creation tool, perfect for single papers involving short term research.

ZoteroBib will create citations from the following identifiers: URL, ISBN, DOI, PMID, arXiv id, or a title.

In Novanet, you can find these identifiers at the bottom of the Details box as shown below.

Simply insert the proper identifier into the Cite bar below and ZoteroBib will create a citation for you.

As you add additional citations ZoteroBib keeps them in a list, as shown below.

You can change your citaiton style through the menu shown below.

If you have further questions, visit the ZoteroBib FAQ.

Save Citations in Your Web Browser

To save from your web browser, be sure to download the Zotero Connector.

Using Connector's save button you can reliably and conveniently add items with quality bibliographic data to your Zotero library.

If Zotero detects an items you can add, an icon will appear to the right of the address bar of your browser. This icon will change depending on the type of source the information is coming from.

For example: if you found a book the icon will appear as a small blue book in Chrome as shown below.

If there are multiple items on a page, you will see a folder icon.

Clicking the icon will bring up a window where you choose what items you want saved.

To capture web pages, you will undergo a different method.

When on a page of interest, right-click in your browser and choose Save to Zotero. The web page will be added as an item to your library where you can add information about the page (author, etc). This action will include a snapshot of the page and a copy of this page will be saved to your computer.


All of the above images are from Google Chrome. The appearance of the tool bar icon may vary depending on your choice of web browser.

However, it can always be found to the right of the address bar.

Can't find your Connector icon? Read this article to fix the problem.

Manually Add Items

There are three methods for manually adding items: drag and drop, add by identifier, or create a new item.

Drag and Drop

You can drop a file into your collection and it will copy it into your library as a standalone item.

Simply drag the item into the center pane as shown below. If the item has high-quality metadata, Zotero will automatically fill this information for you. 

Dropping items directly into Zotero will automatically include file attachments. As in the example above, I dragged and dropped a PDF into Zotero. I know that this item has an attachment as under the paperclip icon to the right of the entry it has a blue dot as shown below. 

Additionally, by right-clicking on the item I have the option to "View PDF" providing me with an easy method for retrieving the file.

Add by Identifier

This option can quickly add items to your collection by simply copying and pasting one of the following pieces of information into Zotero.

Click on the magic wand icon found on the top of the Zotero desktop application, it will then prompt you to put in one of the listed identifiers as shown in the image below.

Simply copy and past one of the identifiers into the search bar, hit enter on your keyboard, and Zotero will retrieve the metadata for the item.

Create a New Item

If required, you can also manually enter information into an item by clicking on the green + button as shown below.

You will be prompted to identify the kind of item, and as you can see, Zotero has a wide range of items available.

After choosing the item type you can enter the metadata in the right-hand pane.

Attach Files

You can attach files to an item (like a PDF) within Zotero when you need a copy of an article attached to its entry in your library.

The easiest method for attaching files to entry items is to drag and drop a file directly onto an existing item as shown below.

If you drop a file onto an existing item it will attach to that item.

Each item also has an Attachments tab in the right column. You can attach files by clicking the Attachments tab and then the Add button.