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Zotero: Cite

An introduction to the free, online bibliographic management tool Zotero.

Citation Styles

Zotero comes pre-loaded with many standard citation styles (including APA, MLA, and Chicago). To set your default style:

  • Click on the Actions buttion ()
  • Select Preferences
  • Go to the Export tab and choose your preferred style.

Can't find what you're looking for? See this guide to importing additional citation styles into Zotero.

Generate a Bibliography

Zotero will automatically generate a bibliography in your chosen style from any number of records.

  • Select one or more records from your Zotero library. Control + click (command + click on Mac) to select multiple items.
  • Right click and select "Create Bibliography from Items"
  • Choose a citation style and export format.
  • Right click on any of your folders to generate a bibliography from all of the items in that folder.


Word Processor Integration

You can easily link your Zotero library to your Word Processor to integrate citations into your writing. This feature is available for MS Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice.

  • Install the appropriate plug-in, following the instructions on the Zotero website.
  • Open your word processor and find the Set Document Preferences button () to choose your preferred citation style.
  • When you're ready to cite, click on the Insert Citation button ().
  • Search your Zotero library for the source you want to cite. Zotero will automatically generate an in-text citation in the appropriate format.
  • Click on the Insert Bibliography button () to automatically generate a bibliography of all the sources you have cited in your document.
  • Use the Edit Citation () or Edit Bibliography () buttons to make changes to existing citations (like adding page numbers).

Zotero-generated citations in your word documents are linked to your library: If you update an item in your Zotero library, it will automatically update your bibliography. When you are done editing your document, use the Remove Codes button () to convert your Zotero citations to simple text (this is irreversible).


Quick Citation

Just need to generate a quick citation for a couple of items?

  • Click and drag any item in your Zotero library into the text editor of your choice. It will appear as a citation in your default format.
  • This works also works in Google Docs, Gmail, and some web-based text editors.
  • Hold down SHIFT and drag to generate an in-text citation.