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An introductory guide to bibliographic software, Zotero.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is an application that collects, managers, and cites research sources. It works in any OS, connects with your browser, and is free to use. You can download it from

You can attach PDFs, notes, and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies.

Screenshot of the Zotero software showing the zotero library

Getting Started with Zotero

To use the full functionality of Zotero, you need to do three things before you start your research:

  1. Install Zotero. Download it for free. (Windows, Mac, and Linux supported.) The video below can help.

With the Zotero app, you can organize citations. You can capture citations with a Zotero Connector plug-in (see below), by exporting them from research databases, or creating them manually.

  1. Install the Zotero Connector for your browser. Download it for free. (Chrome, Safari, and Edge supported.)

The Zotero Connector allows you to easily capture citations from research databases and web sites. See Saving Citations for how to do this.

  1. Integrate Zotero with your word processing app. Zotero works with Microsoft Office Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs. More information and plug-ins are available at the Zotero site.

Integrating Zotero with your word processor will allow you to embed formatted citations and automatically build bibliographies in your essays. See Creating Bibliographies for how to do this.

Introduction to Zotero

Rebecca Howe, Liaison to the School of Health Professions, walks you through the basics of using Zotero. Zotero is a tool to help you collect and annotate research citations. You can download Zotero for free at

Zotero Getting Started Video

This video will help you get started.

Zotero Video Workshop

Looking for more indepth learning? View this video workshop from Georgia State University Library.


This guide was originally created by Jason Puckett, Online Learning Librarian at Georgia State University Library. It is used under a Creative Commons-Attribution-Noncommercial License.

This guide is offered for use under a Creative Commons-Attribution-Noncommercial License.