Reference Management and Personal Digital Library using Zotero

Zotero is a research tool for managing references and citations. It is free, easy-to-use Mozilla Firefox browser extension. It helps one to collect, manage, and cite research sources. It lives in the web browser itself and provides users with automated access to bibliographic information for resources viewed online.  Using “translators” for several websites, online databases including library catalogues, and commercial sites, Zotero “senses” the bibliographic information contained in a web page and when user clicks the Zotero Icon it gathers that information and places it in the user’s machine (by default it is My Library).

In addition to bibliographic information, Zotero also has features to attach full text documents for lateral reference and facilitates marking of important text in the document. One can even manually add notes to a particular reference or document.

In this way researchers can quickly and easily collect the information they need later to review and cite references and create bibliographies in standard formats such as APA, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, MPA and so on. It facilitates having a centralized location of references.


V Sriram, Chief Librarian, K.N. Raj Library, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.

Course material from Workshop on Science Information Literacy and Scholarly Writing 17th – 19th January 2012. Mahatma Gandhi University Library, Kottayam, India.

Download the Zotero Manual


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