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

From the UTSA Library Wesbite

When in our databases, Zotero will detect that you're looking at a book or article. You'll see a book or page icon appear in the address bar of your browser. Just click the icon and Zotero will automatically save the citation.

visual directions on where to click


example of book icon

If you are searching in a database and want to add multiple sources at once, you can do that quickly by clicking on the folder!


visual example of folder icon and multiple select


Note that while different databases will have different-looking search interfaces, the steps to download a citation in Zotero are the same:  

  • Click on the Zotero icon for either a singular or bulk download
  • Save your citations


From Google Scholar

You can add the articles one by one by clicking on the Zotero icon from your browser. 

image of how to select a google scholar article



Once in the article, click on the Zotero icon in the corner:


example of a pdf icon


And then your citation and pdf will download:


gif example of how a pdf upload looks



Just like in an UTSA Library database, you can download multiple sources at once.

When you are in a Google Scholar search and there are multiple resources, Zotero's icon will change to a folder.

Click this folder icon to get a list of all the items on the page and check off the ones you want to save.

example of a folder in Google Scholar


From Other Websites

If Zotero can detect that you're looking at a book or article on a website (like The New York Times or even Amazon.com), you'll see a book or page icon appear in the address bar of your browser.

Click on that icon, just like you would in a database or Google Scholar. Then the citation will be imported.

Sometimes though, Zotero can't automatically capture citation info from some web pages. When this is the case, you can still add them to your Zotero library.

Right-click in your browser and choose Save to Zotero from the menu. This will save a new "web page" item to your library. You can add information about the author, etc., if you wish.

This will also attach a snapshot of the page to the citation. Taking a snapshot saves a copy of the page to your computer. It includes the page's text and images, so if the page is removed later, or if you're offline, you'll still be able to view the website's information.

Attaching Files

Zotero automatically saves PDFs along with citations when possible (you can change this in the preferences menu if you wish.) Attachments take up space in your Zotero account -- you get 300 MB free and can buy more space if needed.

You can attach files manually by selecting the paper clip and "Attach stored copy of file" or by  dragging a PDF (or other file) into your Zotero pane. 

image of paper clip icon


Adding Files Manually

There may be times when you need to add an item to your library by hand. 

When this is the case, use the green "plus" icon and choose the type of item from the dropdown list. A window will open with the appropriate fields to complete for that item type.

Example of green plus button