Organise your reading & Manage your references using Zotero

You will read a lot of different sources of information during your studies, sometimes with a particular assignment in mind or maybe just too better understand a topic or prepare for a discussion. Many people find it useful to keep a record of what they’ve been reading and Library Search Tools such as the Library Catalogue or Discover do provide ways of doing that.

Did you know that there are tools that you can use which help you manage your reading but will also help you when you come to do referencing in your assignments. One free tool that we recommend is Zotero.

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Definition from the Zotero webpage.

With Zotero you can save  anything you read to your Zotero library, create folders to organise your reading and get Word plugins that help you to generate bibliographies from items you’ve saved in your library.

You can also download plugins for your browser that help you to capture the details of books, journals, websites, news articles and more. We’ve included some screenshots to help you decide whether you would like to use Zotero.

Remember: It is still your responsibility to check your references to ensure the style is consistent and to avoid errors. If there are any errors in the data within your Zotero library there will be errors in your references. You should still learn about good referencing practice and use Cite Them Right Online.

Expand the links below for some guidance on downloading and using Zotero.

Download Zotero

You can download Zotero at https://www.zotero.org/

1… Click on ‘Download Now‘ and download the latest version of Zotero – choose the correct download for your platform. Follow any installation instructions.

2… Download the Zotero connector for the browser you use.

Add items to Zotero from websites

When you are on web pages with content you would like to capture, you may be able to do so using your browser connector.

Example: When on the BBC news website and reading an online article you will see a little note icon next to the Zoter ‘Z’ icon. Click on tehis and the data from the web page will be added to your Zotero library.

Add items to Zotero from the Library Catalogue

You can export data from the Library Catalogue into your Zotero Library.

When you find a book you would like to add, click on ‘Save’ and then choose ‘RIS’. If you have Zotero installed it will automatically try to open Zotero and import the details.

Add items to Zotero from Library Search

When searching for journal articles on Discover you can export the citation into your Zotero library by selecting ‘Export‘ and choosing the option that mentions RIS files and Zotero.

Zoter-Discover

Add citations to your Word documents

If you’re running Zotero 5.0 or Zotero Standalone 4.0, the word processor plugins are bundled with Zotero and should be installed automatically for each installed word processor when you first start Zotero.

When you open your Word Processor you should see a ribbon for Zotero.

Zotero - WordYou can select ‘Add/Edit Citation‘ to choose an item in your Zotero library to cite in your assignment.

Zotero- Word2

Remember: It is still your responsibility to check your references to ensure the style is consistent and to avoid errors. If there are any errors in the data within your Zotero library there will be errors in your references. You should still learn about good referencing practice and use Cite Them Right Online.

Create a Bibliography

If you’re running Zotero 5.0 or Zotero Standalone 4.0, the word processor plugins are bundled with Zotero and should be installed automatically for each installed word processor when you first start Zotero.

When you open your Word Processor you should see a ribbon for Zotero.

Zotero - Word

You can select ‘Insert Blibliography’ to create a list of resources you’ve included as citations in your assignment.

Remember: It is still your responsibility to check your references to ensure the style is consistent and to avoid errors. If there are any errors in the data within your Zotero library there will be errors in your references. There are also different variations of Harvard referencing so you should still learn about good referencing practice and use Cite Them Right Online.

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1 Response

  1. Rashmi Vilas Rao says:

    Thanks a lot, Ms. Young. Very informative.