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Zotero: Getting Started with Zotero

Backing up your Zotero Library

It is important to remember that the information you save into your Zotero library, just like any other documents you save onto your hard drive, needs to be backed up. It is generally good practice, recommended by WCTS, to back up your entire hard drive periodically. However, you can also backup your personal Zotero libraryThis is especially important if you are using Zotero over the course of a longer research project, like a thesis.



Zotero is a free, easy-to-use software that can help you collect, manage and cite your research sources. It functions as a stand-alone desktop application that can be used with Firefox, Chrome, Edge, or Safari. (Be aware that there is ongoing work on Safari support because there have been some bugs in Mac support for browser extensions -- you may find it easier to use Chrome or Firefox with Zotero.) Zotero has a group function online that enables multiple users to share citations. Install Zotero by visiting

Zotero documentation includes information on installation and a helpful Quick Start Guide, as well as a FAQ.

Getting Started with Zotero

Zotero has a number of screencast guides that explain the basics of using the software. 

To get started, you need to download Zotero standalone, which can be used with Firefox, Chrome, Edge, or Safari (there are currently some bugs with Safari however). You also need to download the Zotero Connector for the browser you use. This lets the browser communicate with your Zotero database. Before you start collecting citations, open the Zotero standalone application. It will appear in a separate window and will enable you to send citations from Chrome or Safari to your Zotero library.

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