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UMass Amherst Libraries

Public Health


Zotero logo

A freely-available, open-source citation manager that the UMass Amherst Libraries offers support for is Zotero. 

Learn more about Zotero - and who to contact for help - on the Citation Managers at UMass guide.

Browser Connector Error 9/13/2021

                Zotero error message

Update: February 2022

If you are getting this error when you try to install the Zotero browser connector in Chrome, there is a workaround.

Short answer:

Install the Zotero Connector in your personal Chrome Profile or another browser and do all of your searching for sources and writing in Google Docs there.

You cannot install the Zotero Connector in your UMass Chrome Profile, the one attached to your UMass email.  You can only install it in a Chrome Profile attached to a personal email.  Profiles can no longer share extensions.

Long Answer:
When you click the button on the Zotero site to install the browser connector it tries to take you to the Google Play Store to download the extension.  The permissions on the UMass subscription to Google Apps blocks access to it in the Play Store, just like it blocks Google Maps. 

Since Chrome made their Profiles completely separate, with no way to install in one Profile and have it show up in another Profile (this was not always the case), there is currently no way to add the Zotero Connector to your UMass Chrome Profile.  This also means you will not be able to use Zotero in your UMass Google Docs.

We recommend installing the Connector in Firefox and making that your browser for searching for sources and writing in Google Docs, even if you don't use it for anything else.  You will be able to install the Connector and use the Zotero tools in your UMass Google Docs.  This should also work in Safari or Edge but the Zotero Connector works best in Firefox.

Get started with Zotero

1. Download Zotero 5.0 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.

5. Edit citations by clicking on a field.

6. Create 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.

7. 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.


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

or Libra Office      


or Google Docs       to insert citations and a bibliography.


Zotero support:

Zotero Videos

Here are a few videos to get you started with Zotero. These are borrowed from other libraries, so just remember to contact Ellen if you have questions!

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.