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Zotero - Reference Manager

A Reference & Citation Management Tool

Databases & Library Catalogs

You can save references into Zotero with one click from most library catalogs (including Emory's Library Search catalog), databases, and even some regular web pages.  The Zotero desktop application must be open to download references.

For most databases, Zotero works via the automatic detection feature. When you have a page of results, the Zotero connector in your browser displays a folder icon. When you click on the folder, you get a list of all the items on the results page.  Check the items you want to save into Zotero. Click "OK" to save them into your library:

To save multiple items from a database, click the "folder" icon:

When you have a page of results from a database search, you can click on the Zotero connector folder icon to select the results you want to save.

When you are displaying a page with a single item (a book, an article, etc.) the Zotero icon changes to reflect the type of item displayed. The example below shows an article that looks like a page. Click on the icon to save the reference.

Save an individual article in a database by clicking the "page" icon:

to save a single article from a database search, click on the Zotero connector page icon.

Using ID Numbers (DOI, PMID, etc.)

Click on the "wand" icon. If Zotero can find a matching number it will download the reference.

Citations from a PDF

Add a PDF to your Zotero library and Zotero will automatically attempt to retrieve metadata for PDFs you add, whether you:

  • drag-and-drop them into your Zotero library
  • choose “Link to File…”/”Store Copy of File…”, or
  • click the “Save to Zotero” button on a PDF in the browser.


Zotero can't always capture citation info from webpages, but you can still add them to your Zotero library.

Click the page icon to save a record of the page, a link to the page, and a "snapshot." A snapshot is a copy of the page that includes the page's text and images, so if the page is removed later you'll still be able to refer to it.

Click the Zotero connector web page icon to save a web page.

Databases with no Autodetection

Some databases do not work with Zotero's auto-detection feature (that is, there is no Zotero translator for those databases, or the site doesn't provide accessible metadata). Saving items from these databases requires extra steps.

Save the items in the database, then look for an option to export them. Export them in an RIS format then import them into Zotero.

Alternatively, you can create a citation manually.

Manual Entry

To manually enter a citation click the green plus sign.  Choose the type of item (e.g. book chapter, webpage, report) and fill in the fields.  You can change the type of item for the record at anytime.

Enter the field information.