Skip to Main Content


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.

Zotero Groups

"With groups, you collaborate remotely with project members, set up web-based bibliographies for classes you teach, and so much more.

  • Share your own work or sources you have discovered with others who are working in related areas.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, publicly or privately, on ongoing research.
  • Discover other people with similar interests and the sources they are citing."

1.  Click on the "New Group" button in the Zotero Standalone or Zotero for Firefox toolbar 

  • This will open a new tab in your browser to a Zotero groups page where you can continue the group creation process. 

2.  Give your group a name, select the group type and click "Create Group"

  • If you are unsure of which group type to choose, click on the next tab to read a brief description.

3.  Establish group preferences by clicking on the Group Settings, Member Settings, and Library Settings links 

  • Each of these settings allow you to add detailed information about your group, and establish authorizations for group members. 

4.  Invite members to your group by clicking on the "Member Settings" then click the "Invite Members" link near the bottom of the page

  • This can be done for any type of group, but if your group is private this members can only join by invitation. 

5.  Add resources to share with your group by dragging files from any of your collections over to the group name listed beneath your library in Zotero Standalone or Zotero for Firefox

  • If you do not see the group in Zotero, click on the "Sync" button in your toolbar. 
  • References added to group libraries are copies- changes and edits made in a group collection will not appear in your library. Drag the reference back into "My Library" to add any changes to your file.  
  • You can create collections and subcollections to organize resources within your group libraries by clicking on the group name, then the "New Collection" button in the toolbar. 

There are no membership limits for any groups in Zotero. 

Private Groups: Provides an easy way to share resources and notes with colleagues and research partners. All members of the group may access and contribute references and files (administrators must enable file sharing privileges). This is the ideal group type for sharing resources between a small group of researchers. 

  • "Private groups provide a means of collaboration among group members without creating any public face for the group online."
  • Private groups cannot be found by searching in Zotero.
  • Group names will not appear in member profiles, or through Google searching.
  • Storage for the group is shared with the owner's personal library.  With a free Zotero account you will have 300MB to split between your personal library and the groups you own.

Public, Closed Membership: Publicly visible and searchable, but may only be joined by Zotero users who are invited or request an invitation. Group members may access and contribute references and files (administrators must enable file sharing privileges). This is the ideal group type for promoting discussion on shared research with a wider group of participants. 

  • "Closed-membership groups are useful for creating a controlled group environment with a public presence. This allows a group to publicly present its work and sources, or develop new membership in a controlled fashion."
  • Closed Membership groups can be found by searching in Zotero and Google.
  • Group resources may be visible to non-members by adjusting the "Library Settings." 

Public, Open Membership: Publicly visible and searchable, may be joined by an Zotero users instantly. This is the ideal group type for broad discussions. 

  • Open membership groups can be found by searching Zotero and Google.
  • Group resources may be visible to non-members by adjusting the "Library Settings." 
  • File sharing is not allowed in public groups.

You also have the option to adjust membership settings to assign group members as regular members, administrators, or owners. For more information about membership settings click on the "Zotero Support: Groups" link below. 

Zotero has over 40,000 groups available for you to view or join. 

1.  Log into your Zotero web dashboard, click on the "Groups" tab and click to browse or search for groups

  • You can search by group name, or by Zotero user. 

2.  Review the "Group type" and "Group library" sections to see if you will be able to join a group, or access the group library

3.  Click on the group name to review the list of recently added references, then click "Join Group" to become a member

4.  Click the "Sync" button in Zotero Standalone or Zotero for Firefox to add the new group library