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How to Use Zotero for Citation Management: Downloading Zotero

A guide to downloading, installing, and utilizing Zotero, a free citation management tool with integrated browser and word processor features.

Hey! Read the stuff in this box!


Yes, technology is truly awesome. No, it isn't perfect. If you aren't sure what citation rules are acceptable for your project, check with your professor. Make sure you are using a reliable citation manual or a reliable web source for citation information based on current standards, such as the Purdue OWL Website

Which One Do I Need?

Most users only need the Firefox version of Zotero. The only benefit to the stand-alone application is the ability to store citations on your laptop/desktop rather than "in the cloud." The increasing reliance on and sophistication of cloud technology, however, has mostly rendered this concern outdated. This guide will focus on the Firefox version of Zotero due to its ease of use and automated syncing with Zotero's online backup storage.

Downloading Zotero for Firefox

  1. Open Firefox, and make sure it is updated to the most recent version. (If you aren't sure whether your version is current, go to Firefox Menu > Help > About Firefox. It should update to the current version.)
  2. Go to
  3. Click the "Zotero for Firefox" button.
  4. Follow the steps to install, then restart Firefox.

Screenshot: Downloading Zotero

Your Librarian

Beth Carpenter's picture
Beth Carpenter
Transylvania University Library
300 N. Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508-1797