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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Arrupe College

A Guide to library resources for the Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free reference management tool (software) that works on Windows, Apple, and Linux. It allows you to...

  • Collect bibliographic information (extracts metadata) on books, journal articles, videos and other resources from library resources, databases, & free sites.
  • Collect PDF's file, images, screenshots, and other files for each citation/reference in your library.
  • Create a bibliography and in-text citations in a variety of reference styles in a Word or OpenOffice document.
  • Enter notes & tags that can be searched to build connections in many styles.
  • Sync citations and files across multiple devices.
  • Create Groups to share citations, collection, notes, and tags with colleagues.

A quick overview of the set-up steps you should take:

  1. Create a free account.
  2. Install Zotero
  3. Link your account to your Zotero instance
  4. Get started!
  5. Don't forget about Zotero's collaboration and group collection features.

It is ideal to use the computer/laptop and browser you plan to use for literature research.


  1. Use Google Chrome or Firefox browser
  2. Go to the Zotero Download page
    • The site will automatically detect your operating system (Win, Mac, Linux*) and browser.
    • Zotero DOES NOT work with Chromebooks or Office 365
  3. Download Zotero 5.0 and browser Connector

Installation of Zotero

  1. Close any Microsoft Office programs (e.g. Word)
  2. Open the downloaded Zotero file (.exe or .dmg).
  3. Follow the installation directions
    • Zotero and an MS Word add-in will be installed
  4. Open the Zotero program
  5. Open MS Word
    •   Notice the word Zotero on your toolbar.

Installation of Browser Connector (Add-on/extension)

  1. Install the Zotero Connector for your browser (best with Chrome or Firefox)
    • Browser may restart after installation
    • You'll notice a Zotero icon (a "Z" or a small rectangle) on the right side of your browser toolbar

This tool is separate from the Zotero software. ZoteroBib helps you build a bibliography instantly from any computer or device, without creating an account or installing any software. It’s brought to you by the team behind Zotero, the powerful open-source research tool recommended by thousands of universities worldwide, so you can trust it to help you seamlessly add sources and produce perfect bibliographies. If you need to reuse sources across multiple projects or build a shared research library, we recommend using Zotero instead.

The Library has featured Zotero because users have found it easy to use, well-supported, and costs nothing (except the time to learn it).  But not everyone likes Zotero –tastes and needs vary.  Here are three alternative resources that may better meet your research needs: