1. Register: If you don’t already have one, register for a Zotero Account.
2. Download: Once you’ve registered, you will have to DOWNLOAD Zotero.
NOTE: Version 5 of Zotero offers a unified Zotero experience that impacts Firefox users. See the Zotero blog for more details.
Zotero.org: You can also access Zotero through the zotero.org website, which provides limited access to your Zotero libraries but does not offer the full functionality of the Zotero client. **If you are not using your own computer, you should use the zotero.org interface to save your work in your library.** However, zotero.org will not connect directly with your browser, so if you want to add any citations through this interface, you’ll have to do so by hand
3. Create Bibliographies: You will also have to download the Plugin for Word so that you can use Zotero to create footnotes and bibliographies. (See: Using Zotero to create Bibliographies and cite in a Word Processor)
Resources for more information:
1. Create a Group: Any Zotero user can create a Group Library through the online interface. Go to Zotero.org, log in to your account, and click on the "Groups" tag. Click on "Create a New Group," choose a name, and then choose a setting (Public, Open; Public, Closed; or Private).
NOTE: If you are creating a shared library for a class or group project, you will probably want to choose Private so that other Zotero users cannot join.
2. Invite Members/Join a Group: Invite other participants to join your group by clicking on "My Groups" and "Manage Members." You will need the email addresses of people you want to invite to a Private Group. If you leave the group open, other users can find you. (Once members join, the group manager can assign roles - either Admin or Member. Admins will be able to make changes to the Group Library and invite more members. Members will be able to add new items to the Group Library, but cannot erase items or add new members.)
3. Sync: Once you join a group, be sure to sync your preferred Zotero platform so that the group shows up in your personal library. You may have to enbable syncing on your version of Zotero (either standalone or in Firefox).
NOTE: If you’re working with both the standalone and the embedded options, make sure you sync regularly so that you’re always adding to the most recent library.
4. Add to a group library: Once the group library shows up in your preferred platform, click on the group and create a sub-library by clicking on the Add new Folder button. Include your first name and last name in your new library.
There are two ways to add citations to Zotero: 1) automatically and 2) by hand. Before adding citations by hand, you should try to add them through the automated connection Zotero establishes with your web browser. NOTE: if you’re using the zotero.org web-based interface, you will have to add all citations by hand.
1. Adding citations automatically: When searching in Cruzcat, Melvyl, or the library databases, you will be able to easily download citation information directly into Zotero with one click.
Search for any given topic. When the results come up, you’ll notice a small icon in the right side of your browser address bar.
The folder icon indicates that there are multiple selections that you could download into Zotero. If you want to save multiple citations from one search, click on the folder icon and another screen will appear. You can then select which citations you’d like to download.
If you want to only download one citation, click on the book listed in the results. On the item page, you’ll notice that you still have an icon in the browser bar, but now that icon is a book. If you click on the book icon, the citation information about this book will be automatically downloaded into Zotero. Different types of materials will have different icons. Clicking this icon will always be the way to automatically download citation information. You can also save web pages using the same technique.
NOTE: Zotero will store the downloaded information into the folder you last selected, so make sure that as you download, you have selected YOUR library folder and not the class folder.
The downloaded citation information will include author name, title, publisher, date – all the necessary details for a bibliography – in addition to whatever information is included in the library record, including tags and call numbers.
2. Adding citation information by hand: Not all online repositories will directly connect to Zotero. But, you can still use Zotero to organize the citation information, add notes, tags, and images. To add an item by hand, select the library you want to add an item to and click on the Add Item button (below). You will have to choose what kind of item you are adding. Book, article, or document are three basic items, but the list is very long – you can add Encyclopedia Entries, television broadcasts, films, emails, etc… Depending on the kind of item you add, Zotero will ask for different kinds of information to create a citation record.
Once you’ve selected the kind of item you want to add, type in all known information. Leave blank information you don’t have (ie. A newspaper article was written without an author attributed, you don’t have a page number). Be as thorough as you can.
After adding in these details, the record will work like those downloaded. You can export a citation or include this item in a bibliography.
3. Taking Notes: Once your items are in your library, you can add notes, tags, and other additional details to the record. To do so, select the item in your library. On the right, you’ll notice a box with the citation information. By default, this box is set to “info” but you can change the screen by clicking on the tabs above. Select “Notes” and add as many notes as you want. You can do the same to add tags.
NOTE: If you are adding tags collaboratively, be sure to set a defined list of terms so that you can use the tags to aggregate resources. Systematize spelling, capitalization, and other possible differences.