Citing Sources & Citation Styles

Learn about how to cite works in your research papers. Links to citation software that can help you create and manage your works cited lists.

Using Zotero

Download and Install Zotero and Zotero Connector:

Zotero Download Screenshot


Downloading Zotero:

1. Zotero recommends using the Google Chrome or Firefox Browser.

2. The Zotero download page will detect your operating system and default browser.

3. Download both Zotero 6 (standalone application) and Zotero Connector (browser extension)

Installing Zotero:

1. Close any open Microsoft Programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Zotero will automatically add a MS Word extension

2. Open Zotero download file (*.exe or *.dmg)

3. Follow installation prompts

Installing Browser Connector:

1. Click on "Install Chrome Connector" (or Firefox or Safari Connector) and follow prompts

2. Zotero is now added to your default browser as an extension (a small Z or rectangle in the upper right of your browser toolbar)


Adding Citations/References into your Zotero Library

There are three basic ways to add references to your Zotero library:

  1. Using Zotero Connector (in your default browser)
  2. Using a standard number (e.g., ISBN or DOI) in Zotero 6
  3. Manually entering citations in Zotero 6

Adding References Using Zotero Connector

​If you have Zotero Connector properly installed in your browser you will be able to easily save what you are looking at in your browser into your Zotero Library in Zotero 6. Zotero Connector will sync directly with Zotero 6.

  • Open Zotero 6 (if Zotero 6 is not open, you will get a prompt from Zotero Connector to open the app first)
  • When you are ready to save an item you're browsing, click on the Zotero Connector icon for your browser (a small Z or rectangle in the upper right of your toolbar).
  • Zotero Connector will automatically sync the citation (and any attached PDFs if available) into your Zotero 6 library.

Adding References Using Standard Numbers

If you have standard numbers for the records you wish to add, you may add them to your Zotero library by entering them manually into Zotero 6. Examples of standard numbers:

  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number) - 10 or 13 digit code for books and monographs, e.g., 978-1-56619-909-4
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier) - most scholarly journal articles have this unique identifier, usually begins with 10.*, e.g., doi:10.1002/nphys1170
  1. Choose "Add Item(s) by Identifier" button 
  2. Copy and paste the standard number into the box, or manually add the numbers.
  3. Press Enter on your keyboard
  4. If the item is found, a reference is automatically added into your Zotero library.

Manually Adding References

If you do not have an ISBN or DOI for an item you wish to add, but you have other bibliographic information that Zotero can use to track down the correct citation (e.g. author, title, journal title, etc.), you may add that reference manually:

  1. Open Zotero 6
  2. Click the green button "New Item" 
  3. Select the appropriate format (e.g., Book, Book Section, Journal Article, etc.)
  4. A blank template will open in a pane on the right side of the Zotero app. Enter all known bibliographic information here.

Attaching PDFs to References

If you have the PDF of an item you already have in your Zotero library, follow these steps to attach the PDF to the corresponding reference:

  1. Open Zotero 6
  2. Right click on a reference
  3. Choose "Add Attachment" > "Attach Stored Copy of File..."
  4. Select the appropriate file to attach to the reference.

If you do not have the PDF of an item, but would like to know if Zotero can find it in our Library system, follow these steps:

  1. Open Zotero 6
  2. Right click on a reference
  3. Choose "Find Available PDF"
  4. If Zotero finds the PDF it will automatically add it to the record



Managing Your Zotero Library

All new references are stored by default into "My Library". You can create folders (called "collections in Zotero) to organize items in the default library.

  • Use the "Folder+" icon to create new collections (folders) in My Library
  • You are now prompted to "Enter a name for this collection:"
  • Your new collection is now shown as a subfolder under "My Library"
  • You can now drag and drop items in "My Library" to your new collections.
  • Right click on a collection to see options for creating subcollections, rename, delete, export, create bibliography, etc.

Removing and Deleting References from My Library

  • If you remove a reference out of a Collection, the reference will remain in the default My Library
  • If you delete a reference out of My Library, it will be deleted from all other Collections and Subcollections

To remove a reference from a collection or subcollection:

  • Select the collection
  • Right click on the reference you wish to remove
  • Select "Remove Item from Collection..." The item will remain in My Library by default
  • If you select "Move Item to Trash..." the item will be removed and permanently deleted from Zotero 6.

To delete a reference from a collection or My Library

  • Right click on a reference you wish to permanently delete
  • Select "Move Item to Trash..."
  • You will get a prompt "Are you sure you want to move the selected item to the Trash?" Click OK or Cancel.
  • If you move an item to Trash, it will appear in a Trash folder shown underneath all of your collections and subcollections. All Trash will remain until you empty the Trash.


For in-depth help, use Zotero's Support pages

For in person help, make an appointment with a Research Librarian. We'll be happy to try and help you however we can.


Importing your EndNote Library into Zotero

  1. Open Zotero 6
  2. Click File in the upper left corner. Select Import...
  3. When prompted with Where do you want to import from? choose A file (BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF, etc.)
  4. Click Next
  5. Browse your computer for the file you saved from EndNote (e.g., My EndNote Library.ris or My EndNote Library.xml) and double click or select and "Open"
  6. You will be brought back to the prompt, now asking to Place imported collections and items into a new collection. You can always reorganize your imported EndNote library once it's imported into Zotero.
  7. Click Next
  8. If the import does not work properly, ensure you are importing a proper file format, either *.xml or *.ris