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How to Use Zotero for Citation Management: Citing Sources

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

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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

Using the Word Plug-in

Zotero includes a plug-in for Microsoft Word that allows you to insert in-text citations and bibliographies quickly and effortlessly using a variety of citation styles. To download this plug-in:

  1. Visit
  2. Click Plugin for Word or LibreOffice.
  3. Follow the instructions to complete installation.

Inserting an in-Text Citation

With Microsoft Word open on your desktop, navigate to the Add-In tab on your toolbar, then click Insert Citation. Select your citation style, then type in some keywords for your source in the Zotero searchbar (author name, title, tags, etc.). Select the citation you need, and...presto!

Inserting a Bibliography

On the Add-In tab in Word, click the third Zotero button (Insert Bibliography). Zotero will automatically insert a bibliography with entries in the correct order using the citation style previously indicated by the user. It will include a reference for each source that appears in your in-text citations. 

Your Librarian

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