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Zotero - Citation Management - Workshop: Getting Stuff

Use Zotero to capture and use bibliographic citation information.

Getting Stuff


Setting up a Collection.

  • Create new Collections:  Use this icon to create and name a Collection.   
    • Open your Zotero application, the Zotero pane will open in a separate window.
    • Click the New Collection icon and name it.


Getting Stuff into Zotero - One Click -     

There are many ways to bring items into Zotero.  Zotero senses bibliographic information. 

  • In the browser toolbar, look for the Zotero icons shown below.  Click on the icon and the bibliographic data will be downloaded into Zotero.   Also PDF's can be attached (automatically or manually).
    • No icons in the toolbar?   Check your browser’s extensions pane to make sure you have the Zotero Connector installed. In some cases, the button may appear in the overflow panel accessible from the right edge of the toolbar.

Books --     

Journal Articles --   

Select items from a folder/list  --  

Web page --  



Getting Stuff into Zotero - Manually Adding Items

If you want to put something into Zotero, and it does not have electronic metadata, you can use the New Item button.

  • Click New Item, and click the little down arrow beside it, reveals many Item Types, including Artwork, Film, Video Recording.



  • Select the correct Item Type.  An empty Item Type, example Artwork, displays in the right pane.  The right pane provides a template for Artwork into which you manually add the bibliographic information.

Getting saved PDF's into Zotero 

Do you have PDF's saved on your computer that you want to put into Zotero?  

Here are the steps:

  • Find the PDF you want to bring into Zotero
  • Highlight the Collection into which you want to put the PDF
  • Click on the PDF and drag it into Zotero's center pane
  • Right click on the PDF and select "Retrieve Metadata for PDF"    Zotero searches Google Scholar for the metadata.
  • No metadata?  No worries, you can create it.
  • In the Zotero pane toolbar, click New Item         (see section above - Manually Adding Items.) Choose the correct item type and enter the data - title, author, etc.  You will see the new item within your Zotero center pane.
  • Click the corresponding PDF and drag it on top of the new item in the center pane you just created.  Now the citation information is paired with the PDF.
  • Not clear?  Go to the guide from Northwestern University.