Mastering Zotero

A user guide for the Zotero reference manager

By Sebastian Karcher and Rintze M. Zelle

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Chapter Contents


What is Zotero?

Curious about Zotero after hearing of it from a teacher, librarian, or fellow student? Wondering how Zotero can be useful to you, and whether it’s worth a look?

Zotero is a reference manager, designed to help you with your scholarly research. Zotero makes it easy to:

Is Zotero the Right Tool for You?

Zotero is not the only reference manager on the market. Is Zotero the best choice for you? Do you even need a reference manager?

The Case for using a Reference Manager

As with most software, there is a learning curve for reference managers. For small projects, like writing a single paper, you probably can do without one. However, even early on in your career it’s worth it to invest some time exploring their use. Knowing how to use reference managers is an important skill for any researcher. Most reference managers can:

Zotero versus the Competition

There are quite a few reference managers on the market, so what makes Zotero special? As long-time Zotero users, we might be biased, but we think Zotero has the following important advantages:

For an extensive comparison between reference managers, see the … Wikipedia page.

Our Target Audience for this Guide

We wrote this guide for new users, for who we offer a gentle introduction to Zotero, as well as for existing users, who can use it as a resource to learn about all the features Zotero has to offer. In particular, we hope to make it easy to learn about new features soon after they become available. By making the text of the guide freely available, and offering the guide in many formats, we hope to reach a wide audience.