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A better way to save citation information and produce bibliographies

Creating your library

You can add resources to your Zotero library in batches, or as you research. Familiarize yourself with the methods below. Some will fit your use case, others may not. Use what works best for you!

All the options below are "or" options. You may find one method works better for your workflow than others. 

The Zotero Browser Extension

After installing the Zotero Connector to your browser, a Zotero icon (that looks like a sheet of notebook paper) will appear in your toolbar. 

To add a page to your library, click on the icon.

A small box will appear below the icon in your toolbar, showing Zotero's progress saving your entry to your library. 

Zotero "Save to my library" notification

You can select the carrot icon on the right-hand side to specify which folder to add the resource to

Zotero add to folder icon

Drag n' Drop

Drag and drop a downloaded file from your computer's desktop, downloads file, or documents. Make sure to retrieve available metadata. 

Import from Existing Citation Manager

This option is appropriate if you are importing a large number of resources from a different citation library or completing a batch resource download.

While in Zotero, select File --> Import. Follow the Import Wizard prompts. 

Screenshot of Zotero Import Wizard

Citation Wizard

If you have an item's DOI or ISBN number you can use the "magic wand" button to Add items by identifier. Zotero uses the unique identifier to retrieve all associated metadata and add items to your library. 

Zotero screenshot add items by identifier

Manual Method

1. Use the "New Item" button (green +) or File > New Item to select the item type you wish to add.

Screenshot of manually adding resource to Zotero by clicking on the green plus sign

2. In the Item Pane on the right hand side of the window, manually type information about your item. Add as much as you can, including title, author/s, date of publication, page numbers, DOI, etc. 

Screenshot of Zotero's manual add function

3. To add a PDF or relevant URL to your resource, right click the entry and select "Add Attachment." You can also "drag and drop" a file onto the relevant item. You can also use the Find Available PDF function. If an article is Open Access, Zotero can use Unpaywall to find a PDF. 


To re-format titles, right click on the Title or Publication field in the right hand pane to change the capitalization to Title Case or Sentence Case.

Screenshot of changing an article's capitalization format

Tips and Tricks

  • You can use the Zotero browser extension to add relevant print sources (like books or magazines) to your library by viewing them in UCSC Library catalog, publisher's website, Google Books, or Amazon Books. Make sure you cite the appropriate edition so page numbers match. 
  • Zotero partners with Retraction Watch to identify and flag retracted articles in your library.