Brandel Library

Zotero: Personal Research Manager

This guide walks you through Zotero, a free tool for gathering, organizing, searching, and citing sources to create a personal research library.

Learn Key Features

Add Items to Your Library

Once Zotero is installed, you'll see an icon in the top right corner of your browser window (Firefox) or your address bar (Chrome) whenever you're on a page with source that can be added to Zotero. Find one of each of the following items and add it to Zotero:

  • a book 
  • a journal article
  • a newspaper article
  • a website

You can also add items to Zotero manually via the New Item menu.

To add a file to an existing Zotero item, drag and drop from your computer to the Zotero item.

Create a Collection

Select the New Collection menu to create a collection. Drag and drop items from your library into the collection. 

Add Notes

Right click on any item in your library to add a note. Zotero will store your note as an attachment to that item.

Try Zotero on the Web

The metadata, notes, and files in your Zotero library are stored in the cloud and accessible via Zotero's web-based platform. Log in to and check it out.