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Zotero: Creating Citations and Bibliographies

Creating Citations and Bibliographies

Use Zotero to help you generate citations and full bibliographies for your research projects.

*Remember to always check the citations and references generated for accuracy based on the citation style you are using. Like other citation managers, it is a very powerful tool, but can still include errors from time to time. You are responsible for the work you turn in.

Quick copy

Using the Firefox plugin, you can easily create in-text citations and bibliographies right from your browser.


Before you make any citations, you must specify the citation style you will be using. In Zotero for Firefox, click the Z, and then select the gear icon for options.

Choose Preferences, then Export, and choose the citation style you will be using under Default Output Format.

To make an in-text citation, simply select the item(s) you want to cite, hold down the Shift key, and click and drag the item(s) into your word processor. It should be noted that citing items this way will not allow for Zotero to detect if you have previously cited an item in your paper. This is important in some cases. For example, in APA when citing a work with 3 to 5 authors more than once, subsequent citations need only use the first authors last name followed with "et al." and the date.

To make a bibliography, select all items you wish to include, and simply drag to the word processor. Zotero will occasionally include extra information not needed depending on your chosen citation style. Always double check your work.

Word processor plugin

Zotero also offers a plugin directly compatible with Microsoft Word and LibreOffice. Depending on which version of Zotero you install, your installation process will differ. Refer to the installation page and usage page for more information.

Once you have the Zotero plugin for your word processor installed, it should be accessible through a Zotero toolbar.

In Word, the toolbar appears as it's own separate ribbon.


Individual commands appear in the menu below when you highlight the ribbon.

Before starting, you should specify the citation format for your paper. Click "Document preferences", and choose your citation style. To add a citation, simply click "Add/Edit Citation".

Choose which source you are citing, and click ok. The in-text citation will be added wherever your cursor is active. Note the options to include a citation to multiple sources, to include page numbers (for quotes or references to direct passages), and to suppress the author (If you have used a signal phrase including the author's name "Roberts writes...").

To add a bibliography or works cited page, click "Insert bibliography". Zotero keeps track of which items you have made citations to and automatically formats and organizes them according to the specified format.