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Michael Schwartz Library

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Michael Schwartz Library

Zotero: Organizing Your Library

Viewing sources

Once an item is added to the Zotero library, you can view the item record (and often the item itself) from any computer with internet access. In Firefox, click on the Z icon to open the Zotero window.

Zotero library

Your folders can be navigated in the left pane. The actual items are displayed in the middle pane. Clicking on an item will display information about that item in the right pane. You can also make changes to the bibliographic information about the item in the right pane. Double clicking an item will open the webpage or document associated with the item, if a link or file has been added to Zotero.


One of the benefits of Zotero is the functionality of organizing items into folders. Items can be stored with other similar items: by course, assignment; as well as conceptually, within a project to help organize the structure your writing will take. Items can belong to more than one folder at a time.

Folders are shown within your library in the left pane. Folders follow a nested structure, one folder can be a part of a "parent" folder. In this example, the folder "Coal Mining" is located in "ASC101". To add a folder, click the folder icon with the green plus sign. To move a folder, click and drag the folder into the folder you would like it to belong to. If you would like to remove a folder from its "nested" location, drag it to "My Library".

To view the contents of a folder, click on the folder. The items that are filed there will be visible in the middle pane.