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Citation Management

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


Zotero's word processor plugins should in installed automatically when you first start Zotero.

If this does not automatically work, you can manually install them following this guide including Word for Windows, Word for Mac, and LibreOffice.

Microsoft Word

As shown below, this plugin adds an additional tab to Word and includes in-text citations and bibliography functions.

To create a bibliography, you must first insert citations into your document.

Create in-text citations

​After clicking the Add/Edit Citation button:

1. The first time this occurs, Zotero will ask what citation style you desire.

2. A search bar will open up allowing you to start typing in a title, the last names of one or more authors, and/or the year of its publication in the box. Matching items will appear below.

3. Either click on your item or press the Enter key when it is highlighted.

4. The item will appear in a bubble as shown below. Press Enter again to insert the citation into your document.

Create a Bibliography

1. You must first insert citations into your document before the plugin can create a bibliography directly into Word.

2. Place your cursor at the location you want your bibliography to be.

3. Click the Add/Edit Bibliography button. A bibliography of citations you previously added will be created where you placed your cursor.


Follow this guide for instructions for using the Zotero LibreOffice Plugin.

Google Docs

Zotero has a plugin for Google Docs! This plugin is part of the Zotero Connector and requires the Zotero desktop program to function.

Follow this guide for details.

Zotero Connector

Zotero Connector is a browser plug-in that captures items found on the web and imports them into Zotero.

This includes a wide range of formats including PDFs, videos, web pages, and more!

Download Zotero Connector

Zotero Syncing

Syncing allows you to view and manipulate your library from any computer on

In order to sync, you must have a Zotero account. Learn how to create a Zotero account here.

To take full advantage of the Chrome Connector, group libraries, and to access your files anywhere, ensure your library is synced by following the below directions.

There are two kinds of syncing: Data syncing and File syncing.


Data Syncing

Data syncing allows you to merge items, notes, tags, and more between your local computer and the Zotero servers.

Once you have a Zotero account, open the Zotero desktop program and under Edit click Preferences. 

Enter your login information under the "Settings - Data Syncing" section. By default, Zotero syncs your data with the server whenever a change is made. You can disable automatic syncing by un-checking the Sync automatically checkbox. 

You can sync manually by clicking the green arrow found at the top right corner of the Zotero application, as shown below.

File Syncing

Although Data Syncing syncs library items, this does not include attachments such as PDFs, audio and video files, images, etc.

Syncing attachments is especially useful for group research as it allows you to share the most important files with your research team using a group library.

To sync attachments, you must set up File Syncing using Zotero File Storage, WebDAV, or Linked File Attachments.


Zotero File Storage

Zotero File Storage is recommended and has advantages over WebDAV including:

  • Syncing files in group libraries
  • Web-based access to PDFs and other attachments
  • Easier setup, guaranteed compatibility, and improved upload performance

Each Zotero user has 300 MB of free space. If you require more storage space, consider increasing your Zotero Storage.



WebDAV is a standardized protocol for transferring files over the web. Some employers or research institutions may provide WebDAV storage. There are also many third-party options compatible with Zotero.

After setting up your WebDAV account information you must enter the following information under the Sync preferencestab:

  • your username
  • your password
  • http or https as appropriate (but if you're not sure, try https first)

After entering this information, click Verify Server.


Linked File Attachments

Rather than attaching stored copies of files to your Zotero items, you can attach links to files stored in a cloud-sync folder (e.g. Dropbox or Google Drive). 

If you choose this method, set up Zotero's Linked Attachment Base Directory to ensure all computers, no matter their path, can access the cloud-sync folder.

The Zotfile plugin can help manage your linked attachments. As you import attachment files, Zotfile automatically moves attachment files to a folder you designated.