Zotero can collect and organise references via your browser and use them, for example, to write articles. You can work jointly with others to collect references.


What is it?

Zotero is a free, open-source reference management tool both for MAC and PC. Zotero can be downloaded to your computer and used for free. If you want to synchronise with the web so that you have access to your references at all times, and have a backup, even from a PC without an installation, you can upload 100 MB free-of-charge. Volumes in excess of this carry a charge.

What can it do?

Zotero can collect references via your browser, organise them and use them in connection with writing an assignment. In other words, you can use Zotero to cite publications and ultimately generate reference lists. You can also work jointly with others to collect references, e.g. for a collaborative article.


With Zotero interacting with your browser, you can save references you find on the net with just one click. Later, you can rearrange them and edit the metadata linked to the individual reference (author, title, publication type etc.) Apart from references, Zotero can also manage the article or book itself in PDF or another format. Thus Zotero is not just a register of references, but also an archive of your articles.


Zotero saves the references (and PDFs, if you have them) in folders. You can also search on all metadata, including in full text, if the PDF can be searched in full text. It is possible to move references from one folder to another simply by dragging and dropping. You can sort your references to make it easier to find what you are looking for.


Zotero also interacts with Word (and various open source text-editing tools, such as Libre Office). This means that when editing your document, you can cite the references you have collected by clicking on one button. When the document is complete, you can ask Zotero to insert a bibliography or reference list, and it will do it automatically. Zotero knows thousands of citation styles, including Chicago, Vancouver etc. (see the list here), so you can always find a style that suits your needs. If, however, you do not, you can adapt a style to fit your preferences using an editor. It requires a certain amount of skill to adapt, but it is possible.


Zotero allows you to share collections of references with others. You can also jointly collect references for a group file. You set up a profile on zotero.org, make a group file and invite others to contribute.

There is an extensive developer community surrounding Zotero, which ensures that you can always search for solutions to your problems and receive qualified answers to your queries.


Most local research libraries offer courses in Zotero and at zotero.org you can find a number of tutorials showing how to use the different functions in the programme.

  • 12.07.2013 Redigeret af Ditte Schjødt Svensson
  • 04.12.2012 Oprettet af Asger Larsen