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In this tutorial you will learn the fundamentals of this free web-based citation management tool, which can be used for any discipline (sciences, social sciences, humanities) to save citations and pdfs, as well as incorporate citations into a Word document. We will cover:
This Zotero tutorial uses pictures and videos produced at OSU and at other universities. Use either the videos or the screenshots depending on your personal preference. Go straight through the whole tutorial in one sitting or jump around using the tabs as your schedule allows. Each of the tabs has drop-down menus to guide you through the content in this tutorial. Or you can use the sub-pages links instead.
This page contains the following sub-pages:
Zotero is a free tool that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use and lives in your web browser where you do your work. Zotero can be downloaded as a Firefox extension, or as a StandAlone version that works with Chrome and Safari. I'll primarily give browser-based Firefox examples in this tutorial, but using the StandAlone version will be very similar. Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into easily searchable collections for different projects, and create bibliographies using Word (for Mac or Windows) or OpenOffice using any of over 7100 citation styles.
References can be added to a Zotero library in many different ways: directly from databases, journal websites, Google Scholar or the library catalog, by reference file import (for example from an EndNote library), by dragging in PDFs from your hard drive, and by entering them manually.
Many people like to know the pros and cons between the various citation management software choices before they start using a particular tool. Here is a brief overview of the differences between Zotero, EndNote (and EndNote Web) and Mendeley. A more lengthy comparison between EndNote Web, EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero is attached if you are interested.
|Cost||Free||Free||$105, through the College of Science software licensing program||Free to OSU users|
|Web based?||Yes||Yes, but not primarily||No||Yes|
|Storage capacity||Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 1GB free Zotero file syncing if you register with an OSU email address (larger syncing plans available for purchase); or can use WebDav||Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 1GB personal and 100MB shared online space (larger online storage plans available for purchase)||Unlimited local storage||Limited to 10,000 citations|
|Create group or shared libraries||Yes||Yes, free for up to 3 group members (larger group plans available for purchase)||Yes, up to 15 members||Yes, but can’t share PDFs with the group|
|Number of Citation Styles||~7100 styles||~7100 styles||~5000||~5000|
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This guide is created by Hannah Gascho Rempel and licensed by Oregon State University Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included. I encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.