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Bibliographic Referencing Software

An overview on using Bibliographic Referencing Software

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free program to help you manage your research sources, similar to EndNote and Mendeley. Zotero can:

  • Collect citations from databases, catalogues and the web

  • Add PDFs, notes and images to your citations

  • Arrange citations into collections to make them easy to find

  • Share your research with a group or the world, and store it online

  • Add citations and bibliographies as you write

Have a look at our program comparison to see if Zotero is the right bibliographic software for you.

Download Zotero

Download Zotero here:

Choose the operating system of your device and click on this link for Installation instructions

Zotero Connector : Zotero Connector automatically senses content as you browse online and allows you to save it to Zotero with a single click. Choose your preferred browser when you download the connector.

Zotero Word Processor Plugin: This is bundled with Zotero and should be installed automatically, if you are having trouble, please see Manually Installing or Word Processor Plugin Troubleshooting.

Adding References

There are multiple ways to add references

  • Using the connector. Simply click the connector icon when on the main page for a resource.
  • Add item by identifier
  • Import from Library databases. 
  • Manually add references

Importing from Library databases

If you have multiple references in a database (e.g. SCOPUS, Web of Science) and you want to add them to Zotero, save time by selecting them in the database, then choosing Export. Zotero is often not listed in the Export options, but you can use RIS or RefMan. 

This downloads an RIS file which you can open with Zotero or import via File > Import.

Adding files

You can also add files to items in your Zotero Library, or drag PDFs into Zotero and allow it to create reference records from them. 

Organising Your References

To organise your references in Zotero, you can use Collections or Groups.

Collections are simply folders within your zotero library. You can have as many as you like, and you can create subfolders by clicking and dragging folders into one another. Read here about collections.

To create a collection, click the yellow folder icon on the top left. Once you've set up a collection, you can click and drag the references you want into it.

Groups are like collections that can be shared with other Zotero users.

To set up groups you first need to enable data Syncing.

Once this is done, you can create groups in the Zotero app or your online account.


You can also add tags and notes to your references.

Citation styles