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Reference management: Get set

Zotero in a nutshell

The reference management software Zotero was created in 2006 and is an open source programme originally developed for historians by The Corporation for Digital Scholarship. Download and use are free and the programme consists of three softwares:

  1. the database handler
  2. an add-on in your browser for importing references
  3. a plugin for your word processor.

In addition to these, you can create an online account.

Zotero is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux together with Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs.

Getting started

  1. Go to, select Download and go through the steps for downloading. Make sure your word processsor is shut down before starting the download.
  2. Also install Zotero Connector which is an add-on for your browser, and is used to import references to the programme. You have to "pin" the add-on so that it becomes visible in the browser. In Chrome: select the puzzle piece and click the pin. In Firefox: click the three dots and select Add-ons.
  3. It is also possible to create an online account. It is voluntary but required to access your references from another computer, and to share groups.
  4. Open your word processor and make sure the plugin was installed. It mostly does so automatically but in other cases follow the instructions: