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Z 423 Environmental Physiology

Research guide to support searching and organizing of sources for Z 423/IB 523

What is Zotero

Zotero (pronounced "zoh-TAIR-oh") is a free tool you can use with Firefox, Safari or Chrome that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use and lives in your web browser where you do your work. Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies using Word (for Mac or Windows) or OpenOffice.

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) and by entering them manually.

Getting Started

Start by downloading Zotero to your computer.  Click the red download  Zotero icon below to go to Zotero's download page.  You will receive several prompts that will walk you through the installation process.  Click "install now" and you'll be on your way.  Finish by restarting your browser.

You will know that Zotero has been downloaded because you will see a  icon on your desktop or ribbon (if you are using a Mac). Click on this icon to open up your Zotero library. 

You will also need to download the Zotero connector for your browser from the Zotero Download page. The connector will allow you to easily add sources to your Zotero library from any search tool, such as Google Scholar, library databases, or Amazon.

For more information, read Zotero's Quick Start Guide.  If you have any problems, check out Zotero's installation guide.

Saving Citations in Zotero

Zotero provides the ability to save references from most library catalogs (including the OSU Libraries catalog) and databases, and even some regular web pages, with one click. (Zotero publishes a list of compatible sites, and many sites not on this list also work.) If Zotero detects that you're looking at a book or article on a catalog, database, or a site like, LibraryThing or the New York Times, you'll see a book or page icon appear in the address bar of your browser. Just click the icon and Zotero will automatically save the citation.

Saving citations

Icons change

If you're on a page of search results with many items, you'll see a folder icon instead. Click this to get a list of all the items on the page, and check off the ones you want to save.

Folder save

Create a Standalone Bibliography

  1. You can create a bibliography based on a particular collection or just a few references.  First, select the resources you want to include in your bibliography.  This is easiest if you create a collection and add everything you want to include to that collection.  If you want to include everything that is in your My Library, that will work as well.

Highlight the list (click on an item to highlight it, shift-click to highlight the whole list).Shift-click to highlight the items to add to your bibliography

2. Right click on your selections (command-click on a mac) and you will get a list of options.  Choose Create Bibliography from Selected Items.

Right click on your selections and choose Create Bibliography from Selected Items.


3. Choose the citation style you want (Taylor and Francis-Council of Science Editors) and choose "copy to clipboard."

Choose the citation style and choose "copy to clipboard."


4. Paste your bibliography into a document (Microsoft Word or similar).

Sample bibliogrpahy in CSE style


Add More Citation Styles (for example, the CSE style)

Zotero comes pre-loaded with 16 citation styles, including APA, Chicago, Harvard, and MLA.  However, many people need to work with citation styles that are specific to a particular journal.  To access more citation styles in Zotero, Google  Zotero style repository (or click on this link).

This will open a website listing all of the styles Zotero currently has available.  Search for the style you want  – by directly searching for the name of a style you want; or by searching for the format the style is written in, for example, author-date format; or by disciplinary field. 

You can double check to see if this is the style you had in mind by hovering over the title to see examples of books, articles and more cited in this style. 

To install a style, click the link for the name of the style.  The style will now be added to your list of styles, both in the style manager window and in Word.

Search the style repository

Common Problems to Look for in Your Literature Cited

Zotero can save you a lot of time when you are creating your Literature Cited section. However, Zotero does make some mistakes with the CSE author-date style. Here are some of those mistakes to watch out for an edit yourself.

1. Remove the periods after the journal abbreviation.

Example - Curr Biol

2. Check to make sure species names are italicized.

Example - Effects of freezing and activation on membrane quality and DNA damage in Xenopus tropicalis and Xenopus laevis spermatozoa

3. Make sure article or book titles are in sentence (not title) case.

Example - Pathways to de-extinction: how close can we get to resurrection of an extinct species?

4. For articles you read online, make sure to include [Internet] and the [cited date].

Example - Campbell KL, Hofreiter M. 2015. Resurrecting phenotypes from ancient DNA sequences: promises and perspectives. Can J Zool [Internet]. [cited 2018 Apr 2]; 93:701–710. Available from:

5. Use a hanging indent.