What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free, open-source, web and browser-based citation tool. It works best with Firefox, though standalone versions are available for use with Safari and Chrome.

Zotero lives in your browser. Below left, a shot of Zotero sitting at the bottom of the browser as you search the Web (this is optional). Right, a shot of Zotero at full screen.

Strengths of Zotero

  • Free up to 300 MB of storage.
  • Good at retrieving PDF metadata.
  • Easy import of citations via browser plug-in.
  • Automatically imports PDFs when possible.
  • Works well with non-traditional electronic sources.
  • Good support from user community at zotero.org.

Getting Started with Zotero

Browse this guide to find out more about using and getting the most out of Zotero:

Zotero: Getting Started

Zotero Classes at Harvard

Zotero Basics (September)
Thursday, 9/21, 4-5 PM
Cabot Library Instruction Room (lower level)


Zotero Basics (October)
Tuesday, 10/17, 2-3 PM
Lamont Library B30

  • Registration will be available here two weeks prior to the class.


Additionally, we may offer a Zotero class in November, if demand exists.

Getting Help with Zotero

To learn more about about Zotero, send us an email at citationtools@hulmail.harvard.edu or contact a librarian directly from the list below. Although we list the areas of the Library where we're located, you should feel free to write to any one of us.

Anna Assogba
Consultations and workshops for FAS. 

Emily Bell
Consultations and workshops for FAS.

Kristen Koob
Consultations for Harvard affliates and workshops for HKS.

Carla Lillvik
Consultations for Harvard affiliates and workshops for HGSE.

Hugh Truslow 
Consultations for Harvard affiliates and workshops for FAS; particular interest in collaborative and multilingual issues.

Keely Wilczek
Consultations for Harvard affliates and workshops for HKS.