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Zotero

An overview of how to use Zotero to manage your citations.

Getting your Existing References into Zotero

To get your existing references into Zotero, look up your current reference manager below and follow the steps described.

RefWorks

  1. From the All Documents page, select the articles you wish to export
  2. Select Share, and then Export references
    Log in and select Share, then Export references
  3. Choose whether to export all files or only the selected ones, and then select RIS Format
    Check mark which documents to export, select RIS Format, then hit Export
  4. In Zotero, select File, then Import
  5. Select the appropriate file containing your citations, then select Open to add it to your Zotero Library.

ReadCube
  1. From the library view select the article or articles and right click to bring up Export Options.
  2. Select Export to RefMan (RIS) file and save the file.
  3. In Zotero, select File, then Import
  4. Select the appropriate file containing your citations, then select Open to add it to your Zotero Library. 
 
EndNote
  1. To import your EndNote, go to Edit > Output Styles > Open Style Manager
  2. Check “RefMan (RIS) Export”.
  3. In your EndNote library, select the references you would like to export.
  4. Go to File > Export and save the file, making sure the output styles field is set to “RefMan (RIS) Export”.
  5. In Zotero, select File, then Import
  6. Select the appropriate file containing your citations, then select Open to add it to your Zotero Library.
 
Mendeley
  1. From Mendeley Desktop, select record(s) and right click. Select Export, Research Information Systems (*ris).
  2. A dialog box appears for you to select the location where you want to save the file. Type a file name and select a location to save the file.
  3. In Zotero, select File, then Import
  4. Select the appropriate file containing your citations, then select Open to add it to your Zotero Library.
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Papers
  1. In your Papers library, highlight the references you want to export.
  2. Under the File menu, choose 'Export...' and choose the Refman RIS option. Save the file.
  3. In Zotero, select File, then Import
  4. Select the appropriate file containing your citations, then select Open to add it to your Zotero Library.

Adding References Manually

To add an item to Zotero, click the New Item icon A green circle with a white plus sign at the center 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:

  • Book
  • Book Section
  • Document
  • Journal Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Link to File...
  • Store Copy of File...
  • More, which features numerous other source types (see picture below)

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 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.

Uploading Documents from your Computer

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. 

To add documents to your online Zotero library:

  1. Create a new item in your library or collection
  2. Enter and save any of the source's metadata
  3. Select the Upload Attachment button
  4. Either select the Choose Files button to browse for the document on your computer OR drag and drop the file into the designated area

To add documents to your Zotero desktop library:

  1. Drag and drop the document OR create a new item in your library or collection
  2. If creating a new item, select the Paper Clip icon Can also access by right-clicking any resource at the top of the screen, then select Add Stored Copy of File...
  3. Browse your files for the document

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.