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A simple guide to the citation management tool, Zotero.

Quick Start: 5 Steps in 5 Minutes (Public Computer Edition)

New to Zotero? This guide can get you started using the tool on a public computer in 5 minutes or less. While Zotero does work best on a personal device with the downloaded desktop app, you can use it completely within a browser. As long as you are logged in to your Zotero account, the sources you save will automatically be imported into your desktop app the next time you log-in.


1. Create a Zotero account

To get started, create a personal Zotero account on their website: After creating an account, log-in to the Zotero website.


2. Install Zotero Connector

Install the Zotero Connector on the web browser you are using. This add-on or extension will allow you to save sources directly from your browser with a single click of a button. If you are unsure how to add an extension or add-on, more information can be found on the download page on Zotero's website. 

Note: You must be using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari to install the Zotero Connector.


3. Save an article to Zotero

You are now ready to start saving sources to your Zotero library. You must have your Zotero Library open in a different tab or window on your desktop for saving to be enabled.

Start by finding a resource that you would like to save. One there, click on the Zotero Connector button that has been added to your browser. The newly installed button will change in appearance depending on the resource you are trying to save, but it will always be in the same location. The first time you click the button, you will need to click "Enable Saving to Online Library".

Here are some examples showing the different appearances of the Connector button: 

Note: If you are unable to install anything on the browser of the public computer you are using, you can also manually add sources to your Zotero Library. For more information, read the Zotero Documentation provided on their website.


4. View an Item in your Zotero Library

After saving, you will be able to view the saved item in your online Zotero Library. The saved source displays in the middle of the screen. When you click on it, you will be brought to a new page with all of the item information. All items automatically save to "Library", but you can organize them into different collections (folders).


5. Create a bibliography

You can create citations for single sources or multiple sources at the same time. Click on the check-boxes of the articles that you want to cite. Then click on the button that looks like a bulleted list.

Next, select the citation style that you want to use. Copy and paste the provided citation(s) to any destination.

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