Zotero Guide

Zotero is a free citation management program that enables users to collect and organize citations for future use and to create Group Libraries, or collaborative bibliographies. Read on for a basic guide to using Zotero and MARC’s Group Library. For more help, check out Penn Libraries’ Zotero Guide.
  • Once on the Zotero homepage, you can log in or register using the links at the upper right.  NOTE: you can view the bibliography without logging in, but you can’t edit or download parts of it without logging in.
    • If you would like to view the bibliography without logging in, click on the Groups tab, then click Search for Groups.  Here you can search for Media Activism Research Collective.
  • Once you are logged in/viewing the MARC bibliography page, there are a few different ways to use the bibliography.  The main page lists the Recently Added items.  You can also join the MARC bibliography group from this page.  You can view the whole library by clicking on Group Library (located just above where it says Recent Group Discussions).
  • Once in the main library, all entries will be listed on the right.  You can click on individual entries to view them, including the bibliographic details, any additional notes people have entered about the books, and a link to the text (in the URL space, when available).  Please feel free to add this information if it hasn’t yet been entered!  Again, you can only edit if you are logged in.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 6.57.12 PM

  • Editing: To edit an entry, click the icon on the right: This will open up the editing options for an entry, and you can fill in the boxes with updates.  Adding an abstract, or extras/notes will help others have a better idea of what this book is about!  Be sure to save your changes.
  • Tags: The tags are a really cool feature of Zotero.  In the main library page (pictured above), there is a section on the left called Tags.  Underneath are different options that you can choose, depending on what you are looking for.  You can select one, or select multiple at the same time – to remove one, just click it again and it will un-highlight.  Tags function as a way to cross-list items so that you can easily search by topic areas.  For example, clicking the ‘Feminism’ tab will bring up a list of all texts that have been tagged as Feminism.  If you also select the ‘Discourse’ tab, it will bring up all texts that have been tagged as both Feminism and Discourse.  You can also edit the tags for an entry in the edit screen at the very bottom.  When searching, you can either type in your search category, or expand the tags list (click More) and chose the tags you want.
  • Folders: Alternately, you can look through the folders on the left side of the main library page.  This is a general heading for documents, but they may be crosslisted in different ways, so be sure to check tabs as well if you have a particular theme you are looking for.
  • Adding texts: In the main library page, click the little green plus sign to add an item.  It will prompt you to choose what kind of document (Book, Journal Article, etc) you are uploading. You will then be asked to add citation information.
More ways to use Zotero

Zotero is extremely useful for saving references and creating bibliographies.  You can install an add-on to your internet browser that allows you to save articles as you read (which also saves all the bibliographic info and pulls up the article again when you need it).  You can install the add-on to Microsoft Word as well, which has really cool features when you are writing papers (it creates citations and can also generate a bibliography–this saves so much time).

  • Zotero Standalone Program: If you have the standalone program, you can expand the Group Libraries box on the lower left, and select the MARC library.  From here, you can choose a folder, and browse items in that folder, add items to different folders, or search citations by tags.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 7.03.33 PMThe standalone program has the option to add items by ISBN number, which is extremely convenient. The fastest way to do this is to search for the book on Amazon, copy the ISBN number, and add this into Zotero using the ISBN button (its the little paintbrush looking one in the middle with the tiny green plus sign):

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 7.03.43 PM

Be sure you’re in the folder where you want this citation to be saved!  Otherwise, just drag and drop the citation to the desired folder.

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If you are reading an article/pdf/book/online source that you want to save, you can click this icon to save it to your personal Zotero library.  If you also think it would be useful for the MARC bibliography, please save it to the group library as well.

  • Microsoft Word Add-On: Microsoft Word also has an add-on feature that is very helpful for writing papers.  Once you have this installed, it will create a separate tab in your Word called Add-Ins.  It will look something like this (depending on what version of Word you have):

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 7.09.00 PM

When writing a paper, you can click the icon on the far left to insert a citation: You’ll be prompted to choose which format you want to use (APA, Chicago, etc).  This will pop up a search bar, where you can type the name of the author/title of the paper you want to cite, and it will search your Zotero library and you can choose the one you want.  It will automatically create a citation for this.
You can also use Zotero to create a bibliography.  After you have used your first citation, make a new page (page break), and select the icon that looks like a bulleted list: This automatically lists the bibliographic info for that text.  After the first time you select the Insert Bibliography icon, it should automatically add to your bibliography every time you enter a citation from Zotero.

Zotero also automatically syncs with your online account, so you can log in from anywhere and see your personal library.  You can also download the standalone program on different computers and it should automatically populate with your updated library (for example, on a personal laptop and a school desktop).


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