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Zotero is a Firefox addon that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's free and easy to use.

Creating Your Bibliography: While You Write

Zotero offers word processing plugins for


OpenOffice (aka LibreOffice)

and now Google Docs

The plugin adds a Zotero toolbar to your word processor that allows you to add citations to your document while you write.

To add a citation, put your cursor where you want it to go, and click the "Add/Edit Citation" button on the toolbar. Select the reference you want to cite and click OK.

At the end of your paper, click the "Add/Edit Bibliography" button. Your bibliography will appear, and any new citations you add will be added to the bibliography automatically. Change bibliographic styles with the "Document Preferences" button.

Creating Your Bibliography: Straight From Zotero

It's easy to create a bibliography from your Zotero library:

  1. Select the references (or a complete collection) you want to include. 
  2. Right-click the selected items and choose Create Bibliography.
  3. Choose the bibliographic style you want, and select the output format.

Or you can just drag and drop references from Zotero into your document! They'll turn into fully formatted citations. This works with any word processor including Google Docs.

Add Additional Styles to your Zotero Program

To see all of your styles and add additional styles to your Zotero program:

  1. Go into Zotero preferences (on Mac, Zotero/preferences; on Windows, Edit/preferences).
  2. Click on the "Cite" tab and you can see your styles listed under the "Styles" sub-tab. 
  3. There is a link that says “get additional styles” in that tab which takes you the Zotero style repository.
  4. Find the style you need, and click on it to load it into Zotero.

Create an Annotated Bibliography


There are currently 2 annotated styles available from the Zotero Style Repository, Chicago and APA.

For the Chicago Annotated style, you put the annotation in the "EXTRA" field in the Zotero record (see screenshots below).

For the APA Annotated style, you put the annotation in the "ABSTRACT" field in the Zotero.


Here are the steps for creating an annotated bibliography in Chicago style.

First, annotate the reference in Zotero.

Select the references you want for the bibliography

Export the bibliography from Zotero using the Chicago Annotated style.

Here is the bibliography with annotations.

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