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What is Zotero & what does it do?

Zotero is a software application for managing citations. Its functionality is based on the creation of one or more "libraries," in which citations for journal articles, reports, books, websites and other information sources are gathered and organized into "collections," making them easy to find and insert into documents. Zotero is an open source product of the Corporation for Digital Scholarship ("a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of software and services for researchers and cultural heritage institutions, and is developed by a global community"). Zotero can be freely downloaded and used through the website.

How can Zotero help me?

Whenever you need to collect, organize, use or share multiple citations (e.g. when you're writing a paper), a citation manager, such as Zotero, allows you to...

  • collect and organize citations wherever, whenever, and however you find them
  • safely store and organize all your citations, making them easy to retrieve and re-use
  • automatically insert citations as you write your documents ("cite as you write")
  • automatically create reference lists (a.k.a. "bibliographies" or "sources cited") in your documents
  • format your citations accurately and in accordance with your required citation style (e.g. MLA, APA)
  • share and exchange citations with others involved in your research (e.g. collaborators, instructors)
  • preserve citations for future use beyond DePaul

Depending on whether you choose to use Zotero, or another citation manager (e.g. EndNote or Mendeley), there may be additional functionality available. For more details, see the section of this guide: Zotero vs. Other Citation Managers.




Zotero FAQs

This guide seeks to answer questions such as...

  • What is Zotero & what does it do?
  • Why would I need Zotero?
  • How can I access and install Zotero on my computer?
  • Do I need to customize my Zotero installation?
  • What alternatives to Zotero are available & how do they compare?
  • How can I get quick help from a librarian on using Zotero?
  • How can I get more in-depth training on Zotero?