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Library Services




Guide to using Zotero reference management software

Using the Connector to capture references

One of the most useful features of web-based bibliographic software is being able to quickly ‘capture’ the reference you’re looking at online in a couple of clicks by installing a connector or bookmarklet into your browser. 

The Zotero Connector provides the ability to save references from most library catalogs and databases, and even some regular web pages, with one click. (Zotero has published a list of compatible sites.) If Zotero detects that you're looking at a book or article on a catalog, database, or a site like Amazon, LibraryThing or the New York Times, you'll see a different icon appear. The examples below show: the book icon, the journal article icon and the PDF file icon. Just click the icon and Zotero will automatically save the citation.

Please note: If you are not logged in the Zotero Web library, you must make sure that Zotero desktop is running otherwise the Connector will not have anywhere to save the reference to!

Zotero connector book icon screenshot

  Zotero connector article icon screenshot   

Zotero connector PDF icon screenshot

Adding references using ISBN, DOI or PubMed ID

You can search for references by using the URL, ISBN or DOI. Click on the Identifier (magic wand) icon button and enter the identifier in the look up box. Zotero will find the reference for you and add it to your library.  

Zotero web magic wand screenshot

Adding references manually

You can add details of references manually: 

  • Click the  + (Add) button in the top left corner above the central panel.
  • Then select the type of reference from the drop-down menu. 
  • To view all types of references click on More.

Zotero web new reference screenshot

  • A new blank reference will appear at the top of the central panel in the Web library, on right hand side panel you will see the new reference with empty fields.
  • Fill in in the fields accordingly, all changes are saved automatically.

Editing references

  • Select any reference to see the details in the right panel.
  • You can edit the details just by typing in the fields.
  • You can also change the reference type: click on the Item Type field and select an Item Type from the drop-down menu at the top. The fields of your reference will change accordingly.

At the top of the pane there are separate tabs:

  •  Use the Notes tab for you to add any personal notes about the item. 
  • Use the Tags field to enter your own tags  to your references. This can help with organising your library. 
  • Use the Attachments tab to add files or linked URLs. Click on Add File to upload a file from your computer or simply drag and drop the file into the space.

Please note: you can add related items from within your Zotero desktop library, only. These items will be shown under the Related tab.