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Why Use Zotero

Zotero is a free Firefox, Chrome, and Safari extension that helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.

What Is Zotero?

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a tool that helps you to collect, manage, and cite your references. Using Zotero you can attach PDFs, notes, and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies. Zotero automatically updates itself to work with new online sources and new bibliographic styles. Zotero was built and is supported by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

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Why Use Zotero?

Zotero lives right where you work: your web browser—allowing you to quickly grab citations as you research, and then easily create correctly formatted bibliographies.

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Word for Windows Plugin Installation

Installing the Zotero desktop version should automatically add the Zotero plugin to Microsoft Word. There have recently been issues with this process. If Zotero does not appear in your MS Word toolbar after installation, first try quitting MS Word and rebooting your computer. If it still doesn't appear, it's likely there's a missing file in the MS Word startup folder. Here's how to correct that:

  1. Open C:\Program Files (x86)\Zotero\extensions\\install
  2. You should see two files called "zotero." Right-click each, and click "properties" to see the full filename with extension. You need the one with a ".dotm" extension.
  3. Copy the .dotm file (use ctrl-c or select "copy"
  4. Open the Word Startup folder on your hard drive.
    • You can find it from within MS Word by doing the following: 
    • In Word, go to File>Options. In Options, click Advanced. Under General, click File Locations. The Startup folder should be listed there. Select it and click Modify. Placing the cursor in the location bar at the top of the window will allow you to copy the complete path to the Startup folder. Click Cancel to close the dialog.
    • It should look something like this: C:\Users\[User name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP
  5. Paste the .dotm file into the Word Startup folder.
  6. Quit Word, restart your computer, and open Word: there should now be a Zotero option in the toolbar.

For more detailed instructions or for Word plugin problems on a Mac, see Zotero Documentation.

Credit & License

Creative Commons License
This guide is adapted from one originally created by Jason Puckett and licensed by Georgia State University Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License. Jason's original guide is also available online.

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