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Save Citations: Overview

You can save citations to your Zotero library in a number of different ways:

  • Location bar icons
    • When you visit library websites, databases and other Zotero websites, use the icons that appear next to the location bar to grab citation information.
  • Retrieve Metadata for PDFs
    • Zotero can also attempt to identify PDFs you have saved to your computer. Just drag them into the middle pane and right-click on them and select “Retrieve Metadata for PDF”. If Zotero can find the PDF in Google Scholar, it creates a new library item for the paper, downloads the citation information and attaches the original PDF to the new item.
  • Look up Items by Unique Identifier
    • ​​​​​​​If you have a DOI, ISBN, or PubMed ID, Zotero can look up its citation information.
  • Manually Adding Items
    • ​​​​​​​Items can be added manually by using the New Item button in the Zotero toolbar, then selecting the appropriate item type. Metadata can be added by hand in the right column.
  • Importing Records from Other Tools
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Many users come to Zotero with extensive collections stored in other reference management software. To import entire collections into Zotero, use the gear icon and select “Import.” Browse to your file, select it, and hit open.

Collecting References for Books & Articles

Zotero provides the ability to save references from most library catalogs (including Dupré Library's) and databases, and even some regular web pages, with one click. (Zotero publishes a list of compatible websites, and many websites not on this list also work.) If Zotero detects that you're looking at a book or article on a catalog, database, or a website like, Library Thing or the New York Times, you'll see a book or page icon appear next to the address bar of your browser. Just use the icon and Zotero will automatically save the citation.

How Zotero interacts with Dupré Library Online Catalog Screenshot

How Zotero interacts with Dupré Library Online Catalog Screenshot

If you're on a page of search results with many items, you'll see a folder icon instead. Use this to get a list of all the items on the page, and check off the ones you want to save.

How Zotero interacts with Other Databases Screenshot

Collecting References for Websites

Zotero can save citations for websites and snapshots of pages. Taking a snapshot saves a copy of the page to your computer. It includes the page's text and images, so if the page is removed later, or if you're offline, you'll still be able to view your copy.

To save a snapshot of an open page, use the arrow to the right of the Zotero and page/link icons and select "Save to Zotero as Web Page (with snapshot)" from the options menu.

Save to Zotero as Web Page (with snapshot) Screenshot

Saving Citations Manually

Use the Zotero button next to your browser address bar to open your library. Go to the middle panel and hit the "new item" icon (the button with a green plus sign). Use this to create a new citation.

A pull-down menu will appear. Select the type of source you'd like to cite. For more citation types, hit More and a full list of options will appear.

In the right panel, you'll see fields specific to the type of source you selected. Use the fields to fill them in with the information for your item.

Zotero Saving Citations Manually Screenshot

Organizing Your Library

Select the Zotero button next to your browser address bar to open your library. At the top left is a folder button with a green plus sign. Select this to create a new collection.

Create collections to organize your references. Collections are like file folders on your computer, but a reference can be in more than one collection at a time. In other words, a book on the Civil War could be filed in your "Civil War" collection, your "Louisiana History" collection and your "19th Century America" collection without having to make three copies of the reference.

Zotero Organizing Your Library Screenshot