Instructions on how to download, install, and use Zotero, a free open source bibliographic management program

Creating Quick Bibliographies

It's easy to create a bibliography from your Zotero library.

Select the references or collections you want to include. Hold the control key and click to select multiple items. Right-click one of the selected items and choose Create Bibliography.

Choose the bibliographic style you want, select Copy to Clipboard, click OK and paste into your word processor.

creating a bibliography in zotero

This method works with any word processor (or anywhere you can paste text).

Create Your Bibliography While You Write

Zotero now includes the Word plugin with installation of the application. If you are using an older version of Zotero or you are having difficulty with the Word Plugin, please refer to Zotero's page on Word Plugins.

To add a citation, click Add/Edit Citation on the toolbar. Search for the reference you want to cite and press Enter. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

At the end of your paper, click Insert Bibliography. Your bibliography will appear, and new citations will be added automatically. Change bibliographic styles with Document Preferences.

The toolbar looks different on different operating systems and versions of Word. Mousing over the toolbar will pop up each button's function if they're not clearly labeled.

creating your bibliography in word as you write with zotero


Note: Word 2008 for Mac does not have a toolbar; scripts are used instead. To learn how to add citations or a bibliography to your document, please view the video below. 

Adding Additional Styles to Zotero

Zotero comes with the most common bibliographic styles, but many more are available to download.

To install a style (Zotero 5.0):

  1. Go to the Zotero Style Repository page in Firefox.
  2. Search for the name of the style you need.
  3. Download the style (right-click the Install link and choose Save As).
  4. Open Zotero preferences. Click Cite, then Styles, then the "+" button, and select the style you downloaded (a .CSL file).

The new style will appear in Zotero's style lists.