Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Using Zotero for Citation Management: Creating Bibliographies

Creating Your Bibliography: Straight From Zotero

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

Select the references or collections you want to include. Hold the control (or command) key and click to select multiple items. Right-click one of the selected items and choose Create Bibliography. Choose the bibliographic style you want, and select the output format: Save as RTF or HTML, copy to clipboard or print. (The RTF file format is compatible with all word processors.)

exporting a bibliography

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. Change the default style under Preferences on the "gear" menu.

Creating Your Bibliography: While You Write

Zotero offers word processing plugins for Word, OpenOffice, and 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:

  1. Click on Zotero in your menu bar
  2. Choose "Document Preferences" to choose your citation style
  3. Choose "Add/Edit Citation"
  4. Search for the citation you want to add

To add a bibliography: 

  1. You can add a bibliography after you've imported your citations
  2. Place your cursor where you want your bibliography to begin and choose "Add/Edit Bibliography"
  3. Zotero will recognize all of your citations and convert them into a complete bibliography


Adding Styles to Zotero

Zotero comes with only a few bibliographic styles, but many more are available to download.

To import a new style to Zotero Web:

Open Zotero. 

  1. Choose either the "Create Citations" or "Create Bibliography" button                                                                     
  2. In the dropdown menu, click on the link for "additional styles"                                                                                 
  3. Begin typic in the name of your citation style and click on the "Add" button
  4. Now you can create a bibliography in your preferred style every time you use Zotero!

If you're using the Zotero application you can add a new style by:

  1. Open Zotero and click on Zotero in your menu bar (Mac)
  2. Choose Preferences
  3. Click on the "Cite" tab to find the Style Manager and click "Get additional styles"
  4. Use the search box to find your citation style
  5. Choose your style from the list that populates
  6. Your new style should show up in your Style Manager