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Zotero: About Zotero

Learn how to cite your references with Zotero, a free citation tool.

Zotero Tutorials

Zotero is produced by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.  George Mason University's Libraries have produced several tutorials. In this tutorial, they demonstrate step-by-step how to download and set up Zotero's features.

Zotero FAQs

Does Zotero cost anything?

Nope. You get 300 MB of storage with the free account. You may purchase additional storage space.

I'm a MAC user. Is Zotero compatible with Apple?

Yes it is compatible and you can even use Safari as a browser if you prefer.

Do I have to use my HPU email address?

No, you can use the email address of your choosing. Your account will not be affiliated with HPU, so you are responsible for the access and management of your Zotero account.

What happens when I graduate, or leave HPU?

You are creating your own account, separate from HPU, so nothing will change regarding Zotero. However, if you use your HPU email address, you will want to change it in the Zotero settings when you graduate or leave HPU since that email will no longer be active.

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About Zotero

Zotero is a free citation management tool that allows you to easily collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. This guide will walk you through how to use Zotero from start to finish. Video tutorials are located in the left column of each page.

Zotero is used in two ways:

  • as a stand-alone program that works with  Windows
  • as an add-on connector to FirefoxChrome or Safari browser 

Check our library calendar and filter by Workshops or Events to see the Zotero Workshops offered every semester!

Getting Started

Step 1. Download Zotero 6.0 for Windows or Mac:

Zotero 5.0 runs as a separate application within your computer, the software includes the plugins for Word and OpenOffice.  


Step 2. Install Internet browser Connectors

Depending on the Internet browser you use the most, install the proper Zotero connector to your computer. This will allow to collect references from your browser. Note: There has been reported issues with Safari browser so opt for Firefox or Chrome. 

Step 3. Register for a Zotero account

You can use any email address, this is your personal account with Zotero. 

Step 4. Check that your browser is connected to Zotero

Close and reopen your internet browser, go to Google Scholar and conduct a quick search on any topic. From your search results page, take a closer look within your browser tab. Check to see if there are any icons popping up, like a folder icon or a paper icon. If you see icons then your browser is connected to Zotero.  If not, re-do Step 2. 

Step 5. Open your Zotero account.

Once you have downloaded Zotero 5.0, open the software by clicking on the Z icon from your computer.  Then look for the sync icon    on the top right corner and click on it, then click on the option "Open Sync Preferences".  You will be prompt to login into your Zotero account - the one you created on step 3.

Reference Librarian

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Don't Like Zotero?

Try out other citation tools. There are many available; here are a couple.

Review of Zotero

Here's what The Chronicle of Higher Education has to say about Zotero.

Zotero Apps

There is no official Zotero app but there are numerous third party apps that work with your Zotero Library.

ZotPad for iPad/iPhone allows you view, read your library and annotate attachments.

BibUp for iPad/iPhone allows you add books to your library by scanning ISBN or barcodes.

PaperShip for iPad/iPhone allows you view and add to your library, share, read and annotate attachments.  

ZedLite for Android allows you to view, add, edit and sync your library as well as to read attachments. 

Zojo for Android allows you to view your library.

ZotFile a plugin to manage and sync your library with your mobile PDF reader.