Dirk Stratmann - Zotero help  


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Zotero Help


Zotero is a reference management system with the following features:
  1. Numerous automation facilities:
    1. Automatic (multiple) reference import from actual webpage (Pubmed, Google Scholar or Journal sites)
    2. Automatic download of the article PDF from the Journal sites as the reference is imported
    3. Automatic formatting of references and bibliography (over 2000 styles) in any Word or OpenOffice document
    4. Automatic import of a collection of references from any other reference management program (EndNote, Mendeley, ...)
    5. Automatic import of reference information from a collection of local PDF files using Google Scholar
  2. Free Open Source Software
  3. Available on Windows, Mac and Linux
  4. Standalone (works with Google Chrome, Safari, ...) or as plug-in for Firefox
  5. BibTeX export for LaTeX or LyX users
  6. Many universities / institutions already recommend Zotero
A comparaison of reference management software can be found here

Quick start

After download and installation of Zotero you can lunch either "Zotero Standalone" or click on the icon in the Firefox browser on the right bottom corner of the Firefox window.
You can add references from inside the web browser by clicking on the left most icon on the right site of the HTML address bar:
If you add a reference from a Journal site, Zotero will try to get the full text PDF article also.
Check in the Zotero preferences if the Word or OpenOffice plugins are already installed: Click on the "Action" button inside Zotero and choose "Preferences..." in the menu. Choose the "Cite" panel and click on the "Install ... " buttons if necessary. Now open Word or OpenOffice and search for these buttons:
In Word 2010 they should appear under the "Complements" tab or similar.
These buttons are for (from left to right):
  1. Insert citation
  2. Edit citation
  3. Insert bibliography
  4. Edit bibliography style
  5. Refresh button
  6. Document preferences
  7. Remove Zotero codes, leaves the current bibliography as pure text without any Zotero functionality.


Almost any question concerning Zotero can be found in the well furnished documentation of Zotero, which is available in English or French
Be aware that the documentation in French is not as recent as the English one.

Import from EndNote or other reference management software

Click on this link in English or French
Remark: In older EndNote versions (like EndNote X) you have to choose the correct output style in the Menu->Edit->OutputStyles->"RefMan (RIS) Export" before exporting via Menu->File->Export->"txt file". If the "RefMan (RIS) Export" output style is not available, you have to open the Style Manager via Menu->Edit->OutputStyles->"Open Style Manager..." and check the "RefMan (RIS) Export" style. If it is not in the list you have to download it via the link given in the Zotero documentation

Import of reference information from a collection of local PDF files using Google Scholar

Click on this link in English or French

Set the local folder where Zotero stores the database and files (PDFs, HTML, ...)

Click on the "Action" button inside Zotero and choose "Preferences..." in the menu. Choose the "Advanced" tab on the right and choose the folder (default: Firefox profile).
Inside this folder you will find the database file (zotero.sqlite) and the files attached to the references (PDF, HTML, ...). The attached files are saved in the "storage" subfolder.

Backup or transfer the Zotero data

You can backup or transfer the whole Zotero folder (see above) manually. Pay attention to close "Zotero Standalone" and Firefox before this operation.
Synchronization with the Zotero web-account is not recommended as backup method, as files deleted locally by error will also immediately be deleted on the web-account.
More information can be found here

Synchronization with the Zotero web-account

You can also synchronize the Zotero folder with a Zotero web-account to automatically transfer your Zotero database to any computer. Therefore you have to create your Zotero web-account here
Before you configure your Zotero program (standalone or plugin) to synchronize with your Zotero web-account, make a backup of your Zotero data (see above)!
Once you did the backup, enter your account information in the "Sync" tab of the Zotero preferences dialogue. In case you have already many attached files (PDF, HTML) inside the database (check the size of the local Zotero folder (see above)), you should deactivate the synchronization of these "attached files", because the limit of the free web-account is currently at 100 MB only.
More information can be found here

Zotero bibliography styles

Zotero bibliography styles
Dirk Stratmann - Zotero help     Modified the 05 April 2012