Zotero: Introduction and Setting Up (1 of 3)


Hi, I’m Mindy Ford, a research assistance
librarian in AU’s Bender Library and a citation expert. In this video tutorial, I’ll introduce you
to Zotero, a free citation management tool. You’ll learn how to download and install
Zotero and begin adding sources to your library. Let’s begin by reviewing what citation management
software packages like Zotero can do for you. Of course, Zotero can help you correctly format
your citations, references, and bibliographies. But citation management software can do so
much more: You can organize, store, and retrieve citations for books, articles, websites,
and more. You can import records from databases, library
catalogs, and websites and automatically attach PDFs. You can add abstracts, keywords and other
functions to enhance your project. Let’s begin by installing the software. Go to Zotero.org to download the software
for your Windows, Mac, or Linux system. You’ll also need to download a plug-in for
the browser of your choice. Zotero works well with most browsers, but
it does not work with Internet Explorer without a workaround. The browser plug-in will look different depending
on the browser and type of computer you are using. Once you have installed Zotero and added the
browser plug-in, you are ready to start adding your sources to your personal library. This is where Zotero really shines. I suggest you start by creating collections
to organize your sources as you add them. You can see that I primarily have mine organized
by semester but you can create whatever collections suit your research. After selecting the collection where you’ll
add your sources, go to the browser where you added the plug-in and begin your research. In this example, I am looking for journal
articles in the journal Public Health Nutrition in Cambridge University Press. To add a source to your library, click the
Zotero button. The source has been added to my new collection
and a PDF has been attached. Zotero also captures a snapshot of the page
as it appeared when I added the source. The import button will also save websites
to your library, including the URL, date accessed, and a snapshot. The snapshot feature is particularly helpful
for news websites, which change frequently. Importing sources electronically as you do
your research is the easiest and most comprehensive way to add things to your library. But occasionally you will want to add something
that will not work with Zotero’s helpful little button, such as an electronic source
that Zotero cannot recognize or something else entirely like a personal interview, a
map, or a piece of art. To add an item manually, click File in Zotero and select the type of source, and then fill in as much information as needed in the
windowpane on the right and press Enter to save. In many cases, PDFs saved to your computer
can be dragged into Zotero and it will collect the citation information online. To do this, you’ll first need to download
a plug-in that enables Zotero to index PDFs. Under Edit, select Preferences and the Search
tab, click on Check for Installer under PDF Indexing. The new plug-in should automatically install. Drag and drop the PDF into an open collection
or click on the round plus button then click Store Copy of File. Right click on the PDF entry and select Retrieve
Metadata for PDF. If the metadata is available online, Zotero
will create a new entry with the title of the article and an attached PDF. Be sure to check the newly created record
for any errors. Once you’ve created your Zotero library,
you’re ready to begin creating your references and citations. Check out the next video in this series, Creating
Citations and Bibliographies with Zotero, for step-by-step instructions. For help with Zotero, reach out to me, Mindy
Ford, or any of the Zotero experts in the library by visiting the Research Assistance
Desk, chatting with us from the library website, or reviewing our online Zotero Subject Guide.

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