Skip to Main Content UMKC University Libraries


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 if you're working on a public computer. While Zotero does work best on a personal device with the downloaded desktop app, you can use it completely within a browser. See our Zotero Online section for more on using Zotero in your browser. 


1. Create a Zotero account

To get started, create a personal Zotero account and log in to the Zotero website.


2. Install Zotero Connector

Using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, install the Zotero Connector on the web browser from the Zotero Downloads page. This add-on or extension will allow you to save sources directly from your browser with a single click of a button. If you need more assistance, check the Zotero Installation Support page. 

You are now ready to start saving sources to your Zotero Library!

[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, visit the Zotero Documentation page.]


3. Save an article to Zotero

When you find a resource you would like to save, open the Zotero application on the computer and then click on the Zotero Connector button that has been added to your browser. The button will change in appearance depending on the type resource you are trying to save, but it will always be in the same location.

Here are some examples of the different Connector buttons you might see: 

The first time you click the button, you will need to click "Enable Saving to Online Library" or "Got it," whichever your browser offers you.


When you are saving, a drop-down menu should be available to select the folder destination in your Zotero Library. If the menu does not appear and you want to add the resource to a specific folder, you can find the resource in your "Library" folder and move it where you would like it saved.


4. View an Item in your Zotero Library

After saving, you will be able to view the saved item in your Zotero Library. The saved source displays in the top line of your library. When you click on it, you can view all of the item's information in a pane on the right. All items automatically save to "Library", but you can organize them into different collections by simply dragging and dropping them into the desired folder.

view item in Zotero Library



5. Create a bibliography

You can create citations for single sources or multiple sources at the same time. Click to highlight the the collection of the articles that you want to cite. Right click, then choose "Create Bibliography from Collection."

For more information on creating in-text citation and bibliographies, see the Zotero Word extension video tutorial.


creating a bibliography from a collection in Zotero


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

Zotero Suppot

Video Tutorial