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Introduction to Reference Managers

Getting Started with Zotero

Adding Citations to Zotero

Introduction to Reference Managers

Reference management software, also known as citation management software,  bibliographic management software or citation managers, can help you manage and organize your citations and format bibliographies and footnotes in your papers.

Many different reference management tools are available - some are available for free while others are not. Most pieces of reference management software can help you to:

  • import citation information from databases and library catalogs
  • collect, organize, and annotate citations
  • generate bibliographies and format footnotes or endnotes in a variety of styles
Learn how to get started with Zotero, EndNote, and Mendeley with our videos.

Getting Started with Zotero

Zotero is a widely used free citation manager that will help you keep track of your research and integrate citations into your papers.

Here are a few easy steps to setting up your own Zotero account. For more detailed information on using Zotero visit

Go to to register for a new account. The “Register” link is in the top right corner of the page.

Once you have registered for an account return to the home page to download the Zotero application and browser extensions. Click on the “Download Now” button. Zotero works with your web browser. There are different download options depending on what browser you use.

Firefox users can add Zotero as a fully functional browser extension. Chrome and Safari users will need to download the browser extension and the Zotero Standalone application. The standalone app will also work with Firefox but it is not necessary.

When you have Zotero installed it is important that you login and add the UML link resolver. This will enable Zotero to sync your library and access your saved articles through the Libraries website.

Open the “preferences” window. Under the “Sync” tab add your username and password.

You can integrate the libraries’ resources with your Zotero collection. First, you must add the UML link resolver. The UML link resolver can be found on the Libraries website. On the libraries’ homepage, click on “Refworks, Citing & Writing” and scroll down to find the link for Zotero. Copy the link resolver, and navigate to Zotero’s advancing options panel. Paste the link resolver into Zotero. Click “Ok” to save.

You are now ready to add books and articles to your Zotero library. To learn more see “Adding Records to Zotero”.

Adding Citations to Zotero

Adding items to your Zotero library is easy. You can either input the citation data manually or import the data automatically using the browser plugin. For help setting up Zotero, first view the video, “Getting started with Zotero.”

To manually add items to Zotero select the green ’Plus’ icon at the top of the window. Immediately you will see some of the more common document types but if you hover over “More…” you will see a full list of options. Choose the type of document you want to add. Enter the bibliographic information on the right. Be sure to enter all the information you need to complete your citations.

You can also import bibliographic information directly from the library record. When you have found a book or article in the UM Libraries’ catalogue that you want to add to your Zotero library, click on the title to open the full record. You will see an icon at the top of the browser resembling a book or paper document. When you click on the icon the bibliographic information in the library record will be automatically imported into your library.

Zotero will import the information directly to the Zotero folder you have open. Be sure that you have the correct folder open before you import the record.

In Zotero you can also save a link to any online articles or ebooks. Zotero cannot import the link from the library record. To add the link, you must import the data from the webpage where the article is hosted. In most cases you should be able to import the full citation information along and the link from the article abstract page.

If there are books or articles in your library that do have the URL, you can access them easily using the library look-up feature. Click on the document in your Zotero library. Then click on the green ‘Right Arrow’ icon at the top of the Zotero window. A new tab will open in your browser with the library record for that item. If this feature is not working, see the previous video “Getting Started with Zotero” to learn how to add the University of Manitoba Library link resolver.

If you need more help with using Zotero, a librarian will be happy to help you.