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Citation Management and Writing Tools: Zotero

A guide describing software to help with citation management, writing, and other parts of the research process.

Get started with Zotero

  1. Download the software application AND the browser connector. 

an image of the zotero download page

  1. Open Zotero. In your browser, search for an article in a database.
  2. Click the Zotero icon at the top of your browser to save a citation from that page. It will look different depending on the number and types of citations listed.


  1. Read and annotate PDFs. Extract annotations when you are finished.
  2. While writing your paper, use the Zotero tab in Word to insert citations and a bibliography.

  1. See the Zotero Quick Start Guide for more information.

Register Your MIT Email Address for Unlimited Storage

MIT has a subscription to Zotero which provides MIT affiliates with unlimited storage. The unlimited storage will be automatically applied if you have a email address affiliated with your account.

To add an email address, login to your Zotero account and add an email address under "Manage Email Addresses".

You can verify your storage amount under the Storage section of your account.

a screenshot of the zotero storage information showing an unlimited quota

Use Google Docs with Zotero

Use the Zotero Connector for Firefox or Chrome.

zotero icon in google doc

Note that you cannot transfer citations between Word and a Google Doc so it's best to insert citations only using Word or only using Google docs.

Learn more on the Zotero help page.

Link Zotero with MIT databases

Zotero makes it easy to view the article for a citation that you have saved in your Zotero collection, but there is a setting that you can adjust to make it more reliable from off campus.  

  1. To set MIT as your favorite library within the Zotero desktop software, click Edit > Preferences > Advanced.
  2. From the OpenURL dropdown menu, select Custom > North America > MIT. The MIT resolver will automatically be filled in for you.
  3. Click OK to save changes.