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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Plant Biology

Library Resources supporting the Plant Biology Graduate Program at UMass

What is Zotero?

Zotero logo

Zotero is a free, open-source citation management program.  It will help you organize the sources you save, cite them correctly, and insert them into your paper as you write.  The UMass Libraries recommend more than other citation managers and offer support for users with workshops and consultations with librarians who can help you get started or troubleshoot.

Zotero Quick Start Summary

1. Download Zotero 6 for Windows or Mac AND the browser connector, and register for a free account.

2. Open Zotero. In your browser, search for an article.

3. Click the Zotero icon at the top of your browser to save a citation from that page. It will look different   depending on how many articles there are in your list. A pop-up window will appear on the upper right of the screen and will indicate where your citations are being save in your Zotero library.

4. To manually add a citation, highlight the folder you plan to use. Click the new item button  and choose the type of item you would like to add. Type in each field necessary for your citation. Edit citations by clicking on a field.

5. Create collections  and edit folders to organize your work. To move an item to Trash, right click, and choose "Move Item to Trash." Items stay in the "Trash" folder until you empty it.

6. Zotero makes it easy to view the article for a citation that you have saved in your Zotero collection, but there is a setting that you can adjust to make it more reliable from off campus. To set the UMass Libraries as your favorite library, click on "Edit," "Preferences," then in "Advanced," enter: as resolver, version 1.0.

Click on an article title, then the drop-down menu  next to the search box, and choose Library Lookup to get to the article through the UMass Amherst Libraries.


7. Writing your paper, use the Zotero tab in Word  

or Libra Office      


or Google Docs       to insert citations and a bibliography.


Zotero support:

Zotero How-To Videos

Here are a few videos to get you started with Zotero. These are borrowed from other libraries, so just remember to ask your librarian if you have questions!  My contact info is on the home page of this guide.

The first video shows how to download Zotero and the Zotero Connector for your browser.


This video shows how to create an online Zotero account, then how to link it to your desktop Zotero and synch them.


This video shows how to save references to your Zotero library. 


This video shows how to create citations and reference lists in Zotero, and how to cite things while you are writing.


And this video shows how to set up shared group libraries in Zotero.