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WRT266 Writing for Social Change: Zotero

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free, open-source research tool that helps you collect, organize, and analyze research and share it in a variety of ways. Watch this short video to see how Zotero can save you time! 



  1. Go to
  2. Install Zotero 5.0 for Windows
  3. Install Zotero Connector (you won't be able to create citations from websites without this!)


If you have trouble with installation follow these steps:

  1. Open your preferred browser
  2. Close all your tabs
  3. Close unneeded software
  4. Update your browser - Zotero works with Safari, Chrome, & Firefox
  5. Restart your laptop.



  1. Open Zotero
  2. Go to Edit --> Preferences (in the top toolbar):
    1. Setup Sync - this will enable backup of your references into the Zotero cloud (UR has unlimited storage) and will enable syncing across devices
    2. Setup Cite - Zotero comes pre-loaded with the most prevalent citation styles. If the citation style you'd like to use isn't listed, you can add it in by choosing the "Get additional style..." link


This video is a brief, but in-depth tour of how to use Zotero.

Working on a group project and want to share citations? Zotero lets you create group folders! This video shows you how to set that up.


The below video will show you some incredibly helpful tips on how to work with PDFs in Zotero.

Most helpful is how you can automatically rename the files names of PDFs with the click of a button! See 3:00 timestamp.

If you have Zotero 5 installed on your computer (current version as of Spring 2020) you'll need to install Zotfile so you can extract annotation information from PDFs and turn them into searchable notes within Zotero.