Skip to Main Content


Practical instructions for installing and using Zotero citation manager.

Creating collections and organizing resources

 Zotero allows you to easily create folders in order to organize your research citations.

Grouping items into folders
Click the "New Collection..." button on the upper left side of your Zotero pane to create a new folder.

Now you can drag and drop your resources into the appropriate folder. This is a great way to organize your research sources according to particular assignments/projects that you're working on.

  • You can nest your folders underneath each other to create subfolders. (So, for example, you could have a folder for all your class readings, with a subfolder for each class, plus another separate folder for your Capstone Project materials, and so on.)
  • A single item can be placed in multiple folders (so you could have the same collection of articles in a Course Readings folder and in your Capstone Project folder).
  • Any changes you make to an item (e.g., updating the citation information) will update the item everywhere it is stored.
  • All items can always be found in your master "My Library" folder.
  • Want to see which (other) folders an item is in? From "My Library", select the item you're interested in and hold down the CTRL key. Any folders containing that item will be highlighted yellow:


Tagging items

In the "Info" pane on the right-hand side of your library, you'll see several tabs. The "Tags" tab allows you to add tags to individual items. This can be another helpful way to organize your material. (When you click on this tab, you may notice there are some tags already present. Zotero usually pulls these from any "keywords" associated with the item when the citation is extracted.)

You can use the tags however seems best to you. The best thing about tags is that they are searchable -- so you can easily find all the items marked with a particular tag, no matter which folder(s) they're in.

Configuring Zotero preferences

There are several ways to configure your Zotero desktop software preferences to customize your experience. To explore your preferences:

  • Click on the Edit menu and select Preferences

Zotero desktop preferences


A pop-up window will appear with several types of settings to explore: