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Faculty Development: Managing Research and Citations

Use this guide to help you find and use the professional development resources available from the Library.

Zotero Information

Zotero is a great reference manager and citation tool. Learn more about it by checking out the information below.

Tips to keep in mind when using Zotero.

  • Install Zotero before you start your research. This allows you to collect information as you go along rather than waiting until you're done to find everything again and put it all in one spot. Using Zotero as you go can also help you with in-text citations.
  • Create a separate collection for each research project. This will help you keep track of what resources you are using for what project. All items will appear in your library, however collections help you determine which resources you used for specific projects.
  • You can install Zotero on your computer, or you can use the web version. You may not have full functionality with the web version, but at the very least you have a spot to save citation information to help you create in-text citations and reference pages.
  • You will need to install Zotero on each browser you use. 
  • Check the citation information (metadata) that is uploaded for each citation and edit appropriately. Zotero is good at capturing the metadata, but it may not capture all of it. Also, Zotero will capture and save it as it appears, which means you will need to make sure capitalization and initials are used correctly in your citations.
  • If you have trouble with Zotero automatically saving citation information, you can enter the information manually.
  • The % sign is a wildcard sign that will allow you to search for variations on spelling.
  • Zotero works best with non-cloud programs (i.e. better with Word installed on your computer than with Google Docs).
  • Zotero has a storage limit that only applies to files saved in Zotero and not to the citations. You can save as many citations as you want, but once you start attaching files you are using up storage space. You get free space up to a limit, and you do have the option to pay for more storage space. 
  • Copyright is up to you. Zotero allows you to attach files, and it assumes you are abiding by all copyright regulations. You must be sure you are not violating copyright if you choose to share any of the attached files you have saved (note that sharing citations is not a violation of copyright; you only need to worry when you share actual files).
  • You can use Zotero on mobile devices, however there is no mobile app. You can use the Zotero website to save citations.
  • You can sync citations and files among devices.

Puckett, J. (2017). Zotero: A guide for librarians, researchers, and educators (2nd ed.). Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. 

In the video below, you can ignore the section on moving citations from RefWorks to Zotero unless you have your own RefWorks account you want to switch to Zotero.

The video below explains using groups in Zotero which is helpful in case you want to work with one or more people on a project and save your work in a shared Zotero space.

The video below explains syncing files and provides an overview on how Zotero saves information. 

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