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Citation Management Tools: Zotero

This LibGuide contains information on various citation tools available to Butler students, staff, and faculty.

Zotero At a Glance


Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.  It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.

Registering for your free Zotero account is quick, easy, and necessary to save your citations and link across multiple computers. This feature is especially important if you are using multiple computers around Butler's campus. Always remember to sync early, and sync often 

           The Zotero registration screen.

^Registration Page^

  • The registration will prompt you to create a new group, but you can skip this step. Write down your username and password as you will need these for syncing and saving data

When using the Zotero Extension in either Chrome or FireFox, you may try to save something and get a message like this: 

If you do not have the Zotero Desktop App running, or you are using a public computer that does not have Zotero installed, this message will appear. You simply have to hit the button to enable saving to Online Library and log onto your Zotero account in the browser. 

After doing this once, you should be able to save articles freely again. 

For all of your Zotero related questions consult Zotero's support page, where you can find answers to:

  • Installing Zotero
  • Troubleshooting
  • Adding Citations to Your Library\
  • Citation Styles
  • Creating Bibliographies
  • Integrating With Word
  • Data Syncing


Please Note: This guide is written for Zotero 3.0.  Using Zotero 3.0 with Word documents will render them unable to be edited with a Zotero 2.X install.

You should make frequent backups of all of your information in case something goes wonky in the code.

1. Download the Zotero Word plugin either through the Zotero website or from the direct download link here.

2. This will open up the installer by the address bar of the Firefox browser. 

   After choosing allow, the plug-in will install and the browser will prompt you to restart it. *If Word is open before the installation takes place, it will also need to be restarted before the Add-In toolbar will show up.

3.. Follow the prompts in the Zotero installer and you'll have the plugin installed and ready to go in a matter of seconds.  You're now ready to proceed to the next step, inserting items from your Zotero bibliography into a Word document.


Automatically Generate Citations

1. Navigate to the page containing the citation in your database of choice.

2. Once you're at the citation page, click on the icon (appears like a page) on the right of the address bar.

3. Zotero will now save the citation listed on the website to your Zotero database.  You should see a small dialogue box appear in the bottom right hand corner of your screen indicating that the citation is being saved

4. Congratulations, your record is now available in your personal Zotero database!  You can now edit, tag, make notes, and export this citation to a bibliography or citation in Word or OpenOffice at your convenience.  For more information on performing those tasks simply click on the links above.

Manual Citation

You can manually add citations by clicking the "New Item" button and filling out the necessary information

Zotero supports the following citation formats:

Zotero is capable of creating citations using the following sources:

  • Books/Sections
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Websites
  • Journals
  • Films
  • Interviews
  • Lectures
  • Radio/TV/Podcast
  • Encyclopedia/Dictionary
  • Photographs
  • Thesis
  • Artwork
  • Blog Post
  • And more!


ZoteroBib helps you build a bibliography instantly from any computer or device, without creating an account or installing any software. It’s brought to you by the team behind Zotero, the powerful open-source research tool recommended by thousands of universities worldwide, so you can trust it to help you seamlessly add sources and produce perfect bibliographies. If you need to reuse sources across multiple projects or build a shared research library, we recommend using Zotero instead.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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