Introducing Zotero

What is this Resource?

This site was originally created as a Zotero resource for a one day training course, Managing Personal Digital Research Information, which I led at the British Library in 2013-2014.

In the belief that much of the content and examples would be of practical use and interest to a broader audience, I released it as a public resource under a Creative Commons license.

In 2017, there was a major change to the Zotero app (due to changes in the Firefox browser on which Zotero had originally been built). Although the new Zotero interface is in many respects unchanged and much of the practical material here was still quite usable, I have made some updates to reflect the changes. I’ve also checked and updated links and added a few new ones. (September 2018)

Note: the resource has not (as of September 2022) been updated to reflect the changes in Zotero 6. These include substantially improved support for PDFs and a new notes editor.

Many thanks to James Baker of the BL Digital Scholarship team, who invited me to lead the course!

What is Zotero?

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research.

How To…

(A note on the structure of the content: it begins by assuming no knowledge of Zotero at all, starting with the basics, and moving on in stages to more advanced exercises and examples.)

Getting Started

  • Saving a reference
  • Zotero pane
  • Zotero preferences

Doing More

  • More ways to get references
  • Editing metadata
  • Attachments and annotations
  • Organising collections
  • Data import and export

Managing citations and bibliographies

  • Bibliographies
  • Citation styles
  • Word processor integration

Exploring Libraries and Groups

  • Personal libraries
  • Groups

Zotero Plus …. - a few examples of how people have used and extended Zotero, as a taster - there are lots more in the Resources links below!


These pages are intended to provide examples and case studies rather than practical tuition, to give a range of ideas about what people are doing with Zotero.

Zotero Bibliography

The other main resource created for the course is a Zotero group bibliography:

Managing Digital Research

This contains a larger selection of references to explore for further help and ideas. It will be an ongoing public resource which will be periodically updated.

Sharon Howard

Twitter: @sharon_howard