Using Zotero

Zotero is a free and open source reference management software package produced by an independent, non-profit organisation. It has many of the same features as other such packages.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is both an online and desktop application. You can use the online version anywhere, while the desktop version can be installed on a Windows, Mac or Linux computer.

You can choose to use either the online version or the desktop version, or both together.

Desktop vs online

With Zotero desktop, your storage space for references and documents (e.g. PDFs) is effectively unlimited.

The free online version of Zotero also provides you with unlimited storage for references. However, it only comes with 300MB of cloud storage for documents such as PDFs. If you need more storage space you can opt to pay for a premium plan.

Using Zotero rather than EndNote

EndNote is fully supported and free to staff and students at the University of Bristol. The versions we subscribe to grant additional functionality and workflows that should meet most needs. As such, we recommend the use of EndNote.

Questions to consider when choosing which to use include: will it provide me with enough storage space? If not, am I willing to pay for more? And is it compatible with the operating system I use?

Finally, remember that references can be moved between Zotero and EndNote, so it's not a problem if you change your mind.

Zotero quick guide

New to Zotero? This quick guide will give you an overview of Zotero's central features and how to install it.

Getting started with Zotero

Use the links in the dropdowns below to get started with Zotero, and find any help you might need.

A photo of one of the reading rooms in the Wills Memorial Library. Subject Librarians

For further help with Zotero please contact your subject librarian, who you can find listed by subject here.

Zotero tutorial

This video tutorial is a useful guide to Zotero's features, and how to integrate it into your workflow.

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