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Zotero: Creating Bibliographies

If you have ever "lost" citations to a scholarly piece you will appreciate using Zotero, a bibliographic citation management system. It is F*R*E*E if you use Firefox as your browser.

Creating Your Bibliography: Straight From Zotero

It's easy to create a bibliography from your Zotero library.

Select the references or collections you want to include. Hold the control key and click to select multiple items. Right-click one of the selected items and choose Create Bibliography. Choose the bibliographic style you want, and select the output format: Save as RTF or HTML, copy to clipboard or print. (The RTF file format is compatible with all word processors.)

Or you can just drag and drop references from Zotero into your document! They'll turn into fully formatted citations. This works with any word processor including Google Docs. Change the default style under Preferences on the "gear" menu.

Creating Your Bibliography: While You Write

Zotero offers word processing plugins for Word and OpenOffice. The plugin adds a Zotero toolbar to your word processor that allows you to add citations to your document while you write.

To add a citation, click the first button ("Insert Citation") on the toolbar. Select the reference you want to cite and click OK. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

At the end of your paper, click the third button ("Insert Bibliography"). Your bibliography will appear, and new citations will be added automatically. Change bibliographic styles with the last button on the toolbar ("Set Doc Prefs").

Adding EndNote styles to Zotero

Zotero comes with only a few bibliographic styles, but many more are available to download. It can also import any of the 3000+ styles available for EndNote. Request custom styles at the Zotero forums.

To import an EndNote style to Zotero:

  1. Go to the EndNote styles page and download the style you want.
  2. Open Zotero.  Click the gear button and choose Preferences.
  3. Click the Styles button.
  4. Click the + button at the bottom right.
  5. Select the style file you saved in step 1.