Getting Started with Zotero

In this tutorial, we'll introduce you to Zotero, a free software application that helps you:

  • keep track of your information while you search,
  • create citations while you write,
  • and generate a formatted bibliography in seconds.

Let's get started!

Navigating this Tutorial

To navigate this tutorial, you can click, swipe, or use arrow keys to move around. Here are some navigation tips:

means you can get more in depth information about a topic.

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allows you to skip forward to the information you need.

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Choosing Your Starting Point

Which path suits you?

I'm ready to download Zotero!

I already have Zotero... tell me how to use it.

I don't know what Zotero is; tell me more.

So, What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free, open-source research tool that helps you collect, organize, and analyze research and share it in a variety of ways. Zotero interacts seamlessly with online resources: when it senses you are viewing a book, article, or other object on the web, it can automatically extract and save complete bibliographic references.

from Zotero's Home Page

I'm ready to download Zotero!

Show me more about how Zotero can help

Quick Video Tour of Zotero's Key Features

I'm ready to download Zotero!

Setting up Zotero

  1. Download and install Zotero and a Connector for your favorite browser.
  2. Create a free Zotero account.
  3. Add your username and password to Zotero to sync your account.

I'm ready to get to know Zotero.

Check out detailed instructions for each of the steps listed above.

Download and Install Zotero and a Connector at

: ISU Libraries

Register for an account

Create your free Zotero account at:

: ISU Libraries

I'm ready to get to know Zotero.

Getting to Know Zotero

Now that you've installed Zotero, let's become familiar with how it looks and functions.

: ISU Libraries

I'm ready to start saving sources.

Importing Items into Zotero

There are a variety of ways to import items into Zotero. Watch this short video and determine how you want to proceed.

: ISU Libraries

Go to the ways of importing

Ways of Importing Items

Let's see the Very Easy Way

I'm already comfortable adding items. I want to know how to cite sources.

The Very Easy Way

: ISU Libraries

Let's see the Pretty Easy Way

I'm comfortable adding items. Let's cite sources.

The Pretty Easy Way

: ISU Libraries

Let's see the Mostly Easy Way

I'm comfortable adding items. Let's cite sources.

The Mostly Easy Way

: ISU Libraries

Phew! Let's cite sources.

Creating Citations and Bibliographies

Now you can really leverage the power of Zotero in your research.

How to produce a quick bibliography

I'm good here. Anything else about Zotero?

Creating a Quick Bibliography

: ISU Libraries

How to use Word for automatic citations

I'm good here. Anything else about Zotero?

Using Word for Automatic Citations

: ISU Libraries

Amazing! Anything else about Zotero?

Additional Zotero Support

Want to know more about Zotero and what it can do?

I'm ready to start using Zotero. Thanks!

You made it!

We hope you found this tutorial helpful.

Good luck with Zotero, and remember that you can always ask our librarians for help. Just click the link at the top of the screen.