Have you had trouble finding a good site to help you create a bibliography? Tired of hunting down pieces of information about your source? Or maybe you’re not sure if you have enough information in your citations. Now there is an answer to all of your questions and that answer is Zotero. Zotero creates citations for you at the click of a button! It allows you to store your citations in folders or libraries for organization and upon registering with an email and password(for free) you can access your citations across multiple devices!
Register for Zotero
So the first thing you will need to do is create a username with Zotero. To do this go to https://www.zotero.org/user/register/
You will be sent a confirmation email, follow the link provided in the email. It will bring you to a page like this with instructions on how to set up and sync your username to the standalone version of Zotero which I will get to in a few paragraphs.
How to Install Zotero for Firefox
Firefox users do not need a Standalone version on the desktop instead they just need an add-on for Zotero in their Firefox. To download this go to https://www.zotero.org/ click the download button. This will bring you to a page where you need to decide to download Standalone 4.0 or Zotero 4.0 for Firefox. Choose the option for Firefox.
This will install a Firefox add-on for Zotero. After you do this there will be a capital “Z” at the right of your address bar. If you click it your Zotero library will appear. Click it again it disappears. If you right click a blank spot on a web page it will give you the option to create a snap shot for a citation of the current page.
How to Install Zotero Standalone on Chrome
*Note if using chrome you must be signed into chrome with your gmail account for this to work*
Go to https://www.zotero.org/download/ and click download Zotero 4.0 Standalone. This allows you to use Zotero whether you use Firefox, Chrome or Safari. Once you install the application to your computer you will need to download an extension on your web browser as well. On the same page below the Zotero 4.0 download button you will see links to download an extension for your specific browser. The browser you are currently using will be highlighted while the others will be greyed out. Proceed to install this extension to sync up Zotero standalone with your specific browser. The extension for Chrome is titled Zotero Connector.
Once you have done this open up Zotero standalone preferences then go to sync. Input your username and password that you created when you registered for Zotero.
Once you have done this you can start using Zotero, open your web browser and find the article which you would like to cite. On chrome instead of the Z seen in Firefox you will see an icon that looks like an open book. When you are ready to cite click this and the information will be sent to Zotero standalone.
Creating a Citation
Whether you are using the standalone version or the Firefox plugin if you wish to export a citation you have created simply right click the citation and select “create bibliography from this item” this will give you plenty of options on what style you would like as well as the ability to save as an .rtf or simply copy to your clipboard to paste wherever you like.
If for whatever reason the style you wish to use isn’t available Zotero provides an extensive library of alternative citation styles for download through their website at https://www.zotero.org/styles
Using the Libre Office/Microsoft Word Plugin
Zotero also has a useful plugin if you use either Microsoft Word or Libre Office. To install these plugins go to Preferences> Cite> Word Processors
In your Word Processor you should see some new icons after you install the plugin. On Libre Office it is located towards the left at the top of your screen. Click the button that says “insert citation” when you leave your mouse over it. This will bring up a Zotero search bar, when you find the citations you wish to use hit return or enter.