Skip to Main Content

Zotero: Zotero "in the cloud": Ongoing Use


This page assumes that you have done the things described on the page:  Zotero "in the cloud":  First-time Users.

The Basics


    • Log in to your account at
    • Stay logged in while doing your research so that you can save citations while you work.
    • Use the Zotero Connector icons to save citation data for specific books and articles.  Here is an image showing the most common Zotero Connector icons:

      • By default, your citations are saved in your My Library collection.
      • If you want to create your own collection to organize your citations, you can do that and then drag and drop citations from My Library to your new collection
      • This does not move the citation – it just creates a new ‘view’ of the same citation.
      • Create a new collection by clicking on the + symbol when you have My Library highlighted.
      • Create a new subcollection by highlighting a collection and the clicking on the more icon (…)  
    • You can make as many collections and subcollections as you like
    • Double-check your citation information in the Zotero citation panel – no automated system is 100% perfect.  Occasionally you have to make edits by hand.
  • That’s it for the basics – you’ve just learned 80% of everyday (in the Cloud) use.

Zotero Groups

Creating Zotero groups and inviting people to them is easy and well covered in the documentation.

If you have been invited to join a Zotero Group;  Things to Know

  1. Accept the invitation
  2. Group collections appear below all of your personal collections.
  3. You cannot save citations directly to your Group when using Zotero in the Cloud.
  4. You can drag and drop citations from your personal collections to Group collections.
  5. This creates a new and entirely independent citation – not just a new ‘view’ of the same citation.
    1. That means changes made to a citation in a personal collection (for instance, fixing title capitalization) do not propagate to the same item in the Group collection (and vice versa).

Creating Bibliographies

Creating a Bibliography

  1. Highlight one or more citations

  2. Click on the icon that looks like books on a bookshelf: 

  3. Choose your citation style from the dropdown

    1. The Big 4 Styles (mla, apa, Chicago, Turabian) are there by default

    2. You can import one of the other 9,800 styles by clicking on the link and choosing one from the list.

  4. Use the Copy to Clipboard button, then paste to any word processing program, email, etc.

  5. Or, use the Save to RTF button -- sometimes the formatting is better with this option.

  6. Remember that no automated citation system is 100% correct.  Check your bibliographic entries for correct formatting – this is especially true if using APA!

Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliographies

  1. If you are creating an annotated bibliography:

    1. When you choose your Citation Style, click on the “other styles available” link.

    2. Search for “annotated”.

    3. There are currently only two options:  choose either APA annotated or Chicago Bib-Note annotated.

  2. To save your annotations:

    1. Use the “Extra” field – it is always empty by default.

      1. You can write directly into the Extra field, but that is awkward.

      2. You can write your annotation in a word processing program and then copy and paste into the Extra field -- recommended.

    2. If using a Mac, you might not see empty fields by default

      1. Click on the link that says something about showing empty fields -- then you will be able to see the Extra field.

  3. For some reason, the Zotero styles for annotated bibliographies do not indent the annotations.  They should.

Daniel J. Evans Library - MS: LIB2300 - 2700 Evergreen Parkway, NE. Olympia, WA 98501 - 360-867-6250