Zotero (pronounced "zoh-TAIR-oh") is an application that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use, connects with your web browser to download sources, and best of all it's free. Zotero is easy to use because of its integration with most web browsers, the ease of syncing online with a cloud account making your work portable and keeping it safe, the ability to quickly and easily generate in-text citations, footnotes and bibliographies, as well as its ability to work directly with word processing tools such as Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs.
Import and manage the information you need to properly cite your sources
Zotero shows you an icon in the top menu bar of your browser when a resource (book, article, web page, etc) is being viewed. Clicking this icon will capture and save the citation information available so that you can cite that source in your research paper later. It works with most library-provided databases, as well as other websites and
Zotero collects all of your research sources in a single, searchable 'Zotero Library'. You can organize all of your sources for different projects in separate folders and sub-folders. You can also attach PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and almost anything else to the sources that are saved. Zotero indexes the full-text content of your library, enabling you to find exactly what you're looking for with just a few keystrokes.
Insert footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, or bibliographies into your research paper
Using the word processor plugins available for download on the Zotero site, you can connect your word processing tool (Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs>) to Zotero allowing you to insert citations (end notes, footnotes, in-line citations, etc) and properly formatted bibliographies directly in your research paper. Zotero includes more than 9,000 citation styles - and, if the one you want is not among them, you can add it as a custom citation style.
Collaborate with others when working on a research project
Zotero allows you to create research groups when working with others on a research project. Each group shares a research library of imported sources - including attached files, bibliographic data, notes, tags, and discussion threads. Zotero groups can include as many members as you need, there is no limit on numbers. Groups can also be private or public, open or closed. You control access to the group. For example, you and a couple classmates might initially work on a research project in private. Then, you might choose to share your research notes and source library with the instructor of your course. You have control.