Zotero is a citation manager designed specifically with historians in mind. It can be used for other disciplines but it is just about the best for the historian. This guide is designed to take you through the steps to downloading and then using Zotero.
As you work, keep in mind that Zotero is a program without any AI or machine learning. It can use what you give it, which means you need to give it accurate information.
Downloading Zotero is incredibly straightforward.
Step 1: Go to http://zotero.org and click the red "Download" button.
Step 2: Click the "Download" button to install "Zotero 5.0 for Mac" (or Windows, etc.).
Step 3: Once the install program downloads, follow your usual installation procedures.
Step 4: Open Zotero to make sure it installed properly.
The middle column displays your bibliographic entries. You can sort by the columns visible at the top.
The right column includes individual entry records. You can--and should--edit these for accuracy.
The BC Libraries highly recommends installing the Chrome Connector if you use the Chrome Browser. You can use the Connector to directly import citation information into Zotero using the icon to the right of your address bar (where the URL's go).
The icons for exporting that data depend on what kind of document you are looking at. The icon, for example, imports information on books.
Step 2: Click "Add to Chrome" in the Chrome Store. Once you've approved, you should see the(webpage) icon appear to the right of your browser's address bar.
Step 3: Go forth and find your sources.
Step 4: Make sure to read any entries you add to Zotero. You will need to fix most of your entries for accountancy.
Once you've installed Zotero, you should now begin to add and edit your entries.
Step 1: Select a text you want to cite.
Step 2: Click the on the Zotero icon and select the type of document you are citing. It can be a book, journal article, or other document. Note that for photographs or sculptures, you should cite them as "artworks."
Step 3: Enter the information you have about your text as accurately and cleanly as possible. For a book, you should--at a minimum--fill out the title; author; place; publisher; date; and short title fields.
To use Zotero effectively, you need to make sure that your metadata is accurate and clean (i.e., no typos, etc.). That includes telling Zotero what kind of text you are engaging and adjusting fields accordingly.
You've already seen an entry for a complete book. Now, if you only want to cite to one chapter,
To add a journal article, you can either add the entry by hand using the button in Zotero or you can find the article in a database like JSTOR and click on the icon to the left of you address bar. However you add the article, make sure the following fields are in order:
Note that you do not have to fill every field unless relevant.
For more on citing reports/documents, see the Chicago Manual of Style