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Referencing Styles & Academic Writing: Zotero

Why Zotero?

Zotero is a free online referencing system that you can use on the web and on your desktop. You can create your own fully-searchable reference library, cite as you write and read and annotate your PDFs. It also functions as an academic social network; you can create your own researcher profile.

The 3 -minute video (right) will give you a good overview of Zotero's functions.

Unlike EndNote, Zotero is not supported by the university. This guide will give you some initial help, and refer you to Zotero help resources online.

Steps to access Zotero

  1. Install Zotero Desktop
  2. Install a connector for your browser - this allows you to import references from databases, Library Search, Google Scholar etc. (You can also import PDF files by dragging and dropping them into the library)
  3. Create a free account at if you want to access your library on the Internet
  4. Install the Zotero Word or LibreOffice Plug-in so that you can 'cite while you write' with MS Word or LibreOffice
  5. Check your Zotero library Style Repository to see if your favourite styles are available
  6. Learn how to use Zotero with mobile devices
  7. Use the Zotero Help Guides

Other sources

Zotero Help Guides (right) are the quickest and most useful sources of help. These detailed guides are helpful if you have plenty of time to use Zotero.

Tour of Zotero (3 min. video)

Zotero Help Guides

Reference manager comparison guides