To get your existing references into Zotero, look up your current reference manager below and follow the steps described.
To add an item to Zotero, click the New Item icon at the top of the page. If you plan on adding the item to an existing collection, click on the collection first, then click the New Item icon.
You'll have several options available:
Once you've selected your reference type, you'll be able to enter the title, author(s), and other information in the reference fields to the right of the Title box. You can also attach a link or a copy of your reference source to your newly created reference by selecting the Paper Clip icon , located to the far right of the New Item icon. If adding an item to your library from your online Zotero account, you can attach a link or a copy of the source after you've entered and saved the source's information by using the Upload Attachment button on the following page.
You can change the reference type, manually edit the reference fields and add Notes and Tags by selecting the tabs above the information fields on the Zotero desktop app. You can also do this through your online Zotero account by selecting the resource you'd like to change and selecting the Edit button.
Once you've added a reference, Zotero will automatically save the information to your library. If you have a Zotero account synced to the Zotero desktop app, you'll be able to access the new source from anywhere.
In addition to adding a source's metadata (title, author, etc), you can also upload whole documents to your Zotero library, allowing you to directly access a source from the library.
If you’re dragging multiple files, Zotero will create a separate item for each document. Otherwise, drag and drop documents in the My Library view and you can file them in collections once they are uploaded.
If you’re not sure where the file is on your computer, you can also click File, then click Import on the desktop app and then use the box for drag and drop or to browse and search your computer.
Regardless of how you add your documents, the Zotero desktop app will try to recognize and populate the reference information using the information located in the file. If no reference information is provided, or if you wish to change it, you can manually enter the information afterwards.