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Zotero - Citation Management - Workshop: Best Practices

Use Zotero to capture and use bibliographic citation information.

A few suggestions for using Zotero


  1. Check your Zotero pane when you are starting to gather stuff.  What collection is open (which one is highlighted)?  That is the collection into which the information is going. In this example they are going into:  "Bk, Article, Webpg, PDF"

  2. Think about how you will manage the new items you put in Zotero.  A couple of options are:
    1. Create a "New" or "Read" Collection.  Get in the habit of dropping new, un-read/un-reviewed items in there rather than dropping them in the master Library file.  Periodically review the New or Read items and delete or refile them into a specific collection. 
    2. Alternatively, you can add Date Added to your Zotero display and sort by that to review what you've added recently.

  3. Sometimes the bibliographic data (part of the metadata) isn't readily available in the source you are using.  You may want to do a quick search in another source to see if you can find more complete data.  Or you may want to input the data yourself using Zotero tools.
    1. For books, check WorldCat or Amazon.
    2. For articles and reports, check Google Scholar or Google.
    3. If you are creating the item's citation data yourself (using the  +  icon) be sure to select the correct item type, e.g. book, article, blog, podcast, and more.   Items' citation elements vary.  


4.  Backing up is different than Syncing.  Back up your data!  Step by step instructions.