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Michigan State University

Introduction to Zotero: An Online Tutorial

Getting started with the basics for the citation management program.

Introduction to Zotero

Welcome to the Zotero online course! In this guide, you will find tutorials for installing Zotero, adding citations, and using Zotero's cite while you write feature. At the end of the module, there are tips for troubleshooting and contact information for the Zotero team if you have any questions. These tutorials only go over the basics of Zotero so if you need advanced help, please contact us through email at and one of our instructors will get back to you. If you are interested in a drop-in work session at the library, please email me directly at with your preferred days/times, and we can setup an in-person session later in the semester. Please fill out the feedback form at the end so I can make any necessary adjustments to the guide and the videos.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free open-source online reference management tool used to collect, organize, and format citations to journal articles, books, websites, and other types of resources.  The name Zotero is taken from the Albanian verb zoteroj, which means to master or acquire a skill.  Zotero was created by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media.  It was originally developed as a Firefox extension (and this is still its most robust form), and now it is also available for other browsers and as a standalone tool.

Michigan State University