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Instructions for using and exporting sources to Zotero, the free, easy to use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

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Zotero and ZoteroBib: What's the difference?

What is Zotero?


Zotero is a free tool that allows you to save information about your sources, organize and cite those sources within your paper, create a bibliography in seconds, and share your research with others.

Zotero homepage

What is ZoteroBib?

ZoteroBib is a free service that enables you to build a bibliography really quickly. While there are other free services from which to choose, "ZoteroBib doesn’t bombard you with ads or try to charge you (or your school) money for full functionality or additional citation styles."

ZoteroBib homepage

How do I know which one to choose?

Zotero is for these circumstances:

  • You have time to set up your free account, download Zotero program to your computer, and set up syncing from the browser extension  (note: full features of Zotero are not available on Chromebook or Microsoft Surface)
  • You have more than a few sources to manage
  • You have multiple projects requiring sources and you want to organize your research 
  • You are working with a group and you want to share resources
  • You want the full Zotero experience, including browser extensions and integration with Microsoft Word and Google Docs, including in-text citations. The first-time setup takes a few minutes. We have created tutorials and librarians are happy to help if you have questions.

ZoteroBib is for these circumstances:

  • Your primary computer is a Chromebook or a Microsoft Surface (there are workarounds for using the full Zotero version. Ask a librarian for ideas)
  • You just need a quick citation/bibliography for a discussion board or short paper
  • You are only using a few sources

Note: most of the instructions on the Zotero guide are for the full version of Zotero. For ZoteroBib instructions, look at the Frequently Asked Questions link below.

What can you do with Zotero?

  • Import citations and documents directly from library databases, the library catalog, and search engines like Google Scholar
  • Create bibliographies of various source types including books, articles, websites, videos, and more in a variety of citation styles
  • Organize your research by creating collections using folders and tags
  • Collaborate with other scholars, students, and researchers through an online network
  • Add searchable notes to citations

What comes with a free Zotero account?

Some of the features available with a free Zotero account include:

  • 300MB of storage (additional storage is available for purchase)
  • Full integration between Zotero platforms
  • Group research collections 
  • Citation plug-ins for word processing software
  • Web/Desktop platforms
  • Compatibility with 3rd party mobile applications