Creating Citations in Zotero

To quickly create a citation for one or more references within your Zotero library, simply select the item(s) you wish to cite, right click, and select Create Bibliography from Item. From the dialog box that appears, select your preferred citation style. If you do not see the style you need in the list, click on the link "Manage Styles" and then select "Get Additional Styles" from the new dialog box. 

Once you have selected a citation style, you will choose whether you want the output to be a citation (i.e., and in-text citation) or a bibliography. You can choose whether to save the output as RTF or HTML, or to copy it to your clipboard or print it. "Copy to Clipboard" is the default option, and this is probably what you will use most often if you just want to add a citation or two to an email or document.

If you are working on a long document and plan to include numerous in-text citations and a bibliography, then you may prefer to use Zotero's word processor integration. Below, use of the Microsoft Word plugin is described, but you can find additional information on Zotero's website for using the LibreOffice or Google Docs plugins.

Creating Citations in Microsoft Word

Zotero's Microsoft Word plugin should have automatically installed when you installed Zotero on your computer. If you do not see a Zotero tab when you open Word, please refer to this page for troubleshooting information.

The Zotero tab in Microsoft Word contains the following options:

  • Add/Edit Citation  - Add or edit a citation at the location of your cursor within the document.
  • Add/Edit Bibliography - Add a bibliography at the cursor location or edit the existing bibliography.
  • Document Preferences - Choose or change the citation style of the document.
  • Refresh - Updates citations and bibliography within the document if an item's metadata in your Zotero library has changed.
  • Unlink Citations - This will irreversibly unlink the citations and bibliography in the document from your Zotero library. Changing an item's metadata in your library will no longer change the citations in your Word document. 

Using the Zotero integration in Word is fairly simple. Using Document Preferences, you will set the citation style for the document. Then, whenever you need to add an in-text citation, you will click on Add/Edit Citation. This brings up a search bar in which you can search for an item in your Zotero library. Select the item you wish to cite and click "Enter." An in-text citation in the style of your choosing should appear wherever your cursor is.

The first time you create an in-text citation, you will need to click on Add/Edit Bibliography to create a bibliography for whatever citations you have added so far. From then on, any time you add a citation using Add/Edit Citation, the item will automatically be added to the bibliography.

If you later realize you need to change the citation style in the document, you can simply go to Document Preferences and select a different style. This will change both the in-text and bibliographic citations in the document to the new style.