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Zotero Citation Manager Guide: Ref Manager Layout

A guide for downloading, installing and getting started using the Zotero Citation Manager.

Navigating to the Zotero Manager

The Reference Manager is stored on the hard drive of your computer.

So you can access it from the Start menu in Windows by scrolling through the program menu to the "Z's" and clicking the Zotero link.

Zotero Reference Manager Features

The Reference Manager stores your citations for retrieval and use. You can add citations directly to Zotero from the manager. You can edit citations. You can format and produced bibliographies and individual citations for use in your work.

For effective use, you need to need know the location and function of its core features.

Zotero organizes its content into 3 parallel columns. Left to right these are:

1) Collections (folders) - left column

2) Collection (individual folder) contents - center column

3) Individual records - right column


This is the location of your collection folders. Collection folders store groups of citations and can be organized any way you like (topically, by course, project name, chapter headings, etc.). 

The column divides into three collection types:

1) My Library - a master folder of every record stored in your Zotero Reference manager database. You can add copies of a reference to many collection folders. Sometimes you may forget which folder a reference was added to (a problem for those with extensive folders). Search My Library to determine comprehensively if you already have a reference on file.

2) Collection folders - create and save references to these folders for specific personal projects.

3) Group Library folders - create and save references to these folders for collaborative group projects.

Collection Contents

Stored folder references display alphabetically by author surname.

Mouse click specific references in Collection Contents to display its detailed record for review and editing.

Add or remove citations from the folder in the Collection pane. Highlight all references and create formatted bibliography of references from the Collection pane.

Individual Records

Use this column to edit citation data by clicking into the data field and manually correcting content.

Add notes to the reference record. Add personalized keyword tags to make the record more searchable.

Show relationships between records linked by citation with the Related feature.



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