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Citation Management Tools

This guide will help you get started with managing the information you find online, organizing your citations and writing your research paper.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a citation management tool that is built into your web browser to help you collect, organize, and share citations.  Zotero's big strengths are its browser extensions, which let you grab citations right off the web, and its user-friendly features, like enabling drag-and-drop citation placement.  Zotero also helps you create and format bibliographies and footnotes in a wide variety of citation styles.  Zotero works with Firefox for PC, Mac, and Linux, and is compatible with MS Office and Open Office.  Zotero also has great options for power researchers, like automatically remembering proxies and assigning BibTeX labels based on author name.

You can download Zotero for free here:

Helpful Links

This list of links from the Zotero website will help you use and manage the tool:

Quick overview of Zotero

This 5 min. video tutorial will give you an overview of how to use Zotero.

Configure UMD Authentication with VPN

Besides importing PDFs directly into Zotero, the desktop version can also be configured to access UMD's libraries.

These steps may vary slightly depending upon which version you’re using but to configure Zotero to work with the UMD Libraries’ OpenURL link resolver (“Get it @ UMD” - most recently tested on 5.0.93):

  1. Connect to UMD's VPN (required for this process)
  2. In Zotero, open Edit > Preferences (on a Mac it is Zotero > Preferences)
  3. Click on the Advanced icon
  4. In the Resolver field, enter:
  5. Click OK to save this setting
  6. Now select any citations you wish to retrieve PDFs, right click on them and select Find available PDFs
  7. Zotero will retrieve any PDFs available from UMD's Libraries with full text

My Publications for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff are encouraged to use the “My Publications” feature in Zotero desktop to keep track of their published work.  The files saved in this designated folder will be used to automatically populate your Zotero profile page which is accessible online.  The bibliographic information saved in this folder will have the same flexibility in organizing and citing as other material saved in Zotero.  This profile has the capability to link directly to PDF documents, be mindful of your copyright agreement before enabling this feature.