Skip to main content


Zotero is a reference manager to help you track, manage, cite, and share your research sources.

Two Ways to Get Citations

Quick Copy is Zotero's drag-and-drop approach to grabbing a citation fast, for emails, blog posts, or anywhere else that you need a quick citation.


Select an item, and drag it into a text field for a complete, formatted bibliography reference. If you shift-click, instead, you'll get the reference formatted as an in-text citation.


To configure your Quick Copy preferences, click the Actions menu (the gear icon) and select Preferences. Within the Preferences pop-up window, select Export. From this tab you can do the following:

  • Set the default export format
  • Set up site-specific export settings
  • Choose whether you want Zotero to include HTML markup when copying

You can also use Quick Copy keyboard shortcuts to copy citations and bibliographies to your system clipboard and then paste them into documents. See the Shortcut Keys preference pane for the default keys.

Bibliography Entries

Click on an item to highlight it, and drag highlighted items into a text field for a complete, formatted bibliography reference.

In-Text Citations

Hold shift while you click-and-drag a reference to get that reference formatted as an in-text citation. It works for more than one reference at a time, too!



Best practices

Zotero offers word processing plugins for Word and OpenOffice. The plugin adds a Zotero toolbar to your word processor that allows you to add citations to your document while you write.

To access the Zotero menu in Microsoft Word, click the ADD-INS tab (in Windows) or the scripts menu (on Mac OSX).

To add a citation, click the first button ("Insert Citation") on the toolbar. Search for the reference you want to cite and press Enter. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

At the end of your paper, click the third button ("Insert Bibliography"). Your bibliography will appear, and new citations will be added automatically. Change bibliographic styles with the last button on the toolbar ("Set Doc Prefs").

insert citations


Standalone Bibliographies and Reports

It's easy to create a bibliography from your Zotero library.

Select the references or collections you want to include. Hold the control key and click to select multiple items. Right-click one of the selected items and choose Create Bibliography.

Choose the bibliographic style you want, select Copy to Clipboard, click OK and paste into your word processor.

This method works with any word processor (or anywhere you can paste text).