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This guide provides insight and support for citation management in Zotero.

Create an account

 Installing Zotero 

  1. Download the Zotero software from the following site:
  2. ​NOTE: be mindful of your OS. Linux (32-bit / 64-bit) and macOS users need to select the corresponding download.
  3. When prompted, select the "Standard" download option.

A gif showing how to download zotero

 Register for an account 

NOTE: Anybody can use the Zotero desktop application without a Zotero account. However, users who do create an account can:

  • automatically backup their files online,
  • share their files and folders with other Zotero account holders,
  • sync files using Zotero's web extensions,
  • create bibliographies and in-text citations with Zotero's Word and Google Docs plugins
To register for an account:
  1. Start with the registration page on the following site:
  2. Register for an account.
    1. NOTE: you may want to use a personal email address, as you may not always be able to access your account
  3. Navigate to your email account inbox, and select the link to confirm your email address

 Syncing your new account 

After installing the Zotero software and registering for an account, you now have access to Zotero online at: Before you do anything else, you will need to sync your account to Zotero on your desktop:

  1. In the Zotero desktop software, select Preferences from under the Edit menu;
  2. In the new window, select Sync, enter your Zotero Username (not your email address!), and your password;
  3. Press "Set Up Syncing".
    1. NOTE: in the future, you can always sync by selecting the circular green arrow in the top right corner of Zotero

For more information about syncing, visit this page:

A gif showing how to sync accounts in zotero

 Installing additional tools 

You can increase Zotero's functionality by installing web browser connectors for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Zotero also has plugins available in Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Here's how to get started with them:

Installing web connectors:
  1. Start at the following webpage:;
  2. Select the connector you prefer (we use Chrome in this example);
  3. Install the connector in your web browser;

For troubleshooting help, see this page

Installing Word and Google Docs plugins:
  1. As long as Microsoft Word is installed on your computer, Zotero will automatically link with it when installing the Zotero desktop software;
    1. To ensure that Zotero is properly linked:
    2. Open a document in Microsoft Word;
    3. Look for the Zotero tab in the blue ribbon;
    4. If you see Zotero listed, you are good to go!
    5. NOTE: If Zotero is not listed, follow the steps on this page:
  2. ​When you install the Zotero Connector in Chrome, it will automatically add a Zotero plugin in Google Docs;
    1. NOTE: there is not currently an option to use Zotero in Google Docs using Safari;
  3. If you click on the Zotero button in Google Docs, it will require you to authenticate your Zotero account with Google;
  4. NOTE: for more help using Zotero in Google Docs, see this page: