Group Libraries

Group libraries allow different Zotero users to access a shared library. You can use this to collaboratively build a library with others or to share a curated library on a particular topic with a wider audience. 

Create a Group Library 

  1. In your Zotero desktop client: 
    1. Click the New Library icon (it looks like a cardboard box with a green plus sign next to it). location of new group button in Zotero interface
    2. Select "New Group..." 
    3. You will automatically be taken to the Zotero website. If you're not already logged in, log into your Zotero account.  
  2. On the Zotero website: 
    1. If you're not already logged in, log into your Zotero account. 
    2. From the menu across the top of the page, select "Groups." 
    3. Click on "Create a New Group." 
  3. Choose a unique name for your group. The group URL, below the input field, is automatically created and will turn red if your proposed name is already taken. 
  4. Choose the type of group you are creating: 
    • Private Groups: Only you and those you choose to invite to your group will be able to view the group's research. This is probably your best option if you're working on a group project for a class or a degree but don't plan to disseminate your materials widely. 
    • Public, Closed Membership: You can allow anyone to view your group library, but only those you invite can contribute. This is probably your best option if you're working on a group project but would also like to make at least your bibliography available to the broader scholarly community. 
    • Public, Open Membership: You can allow anyone to view and contribute to your group library. This is probably your best option if you're working on a crowdsourced project. (Note that shared file storage is not available to public, open groups.) 
  5. Your group libraries should automatically sync to your Zotero account and appear below your personal library in the left pane of your Zotero client. 
    • If you don't see a newly created group library immediately, try manually syncing your Zotero application and your online Zotero account by clicking on the green curving sync arrow  in the top right corner. 
    • Items can be copied and moved between private and group libraries. 
    • Anything added by any members of the Group Library, including tags and notes, will appear for all members. 


Invite Members

Click Members Settings and then Send More Invitations. You can invite collaborators to your group either by their Zotero user name or by the e-mail address associated with their account. 

Help those who don't already use Zotero by including a link to this guide ( in the optional personal message.

Your collaborators will receive an e-mail inviting them to your group.

Storage Limits

An important consideration: Any PDFs stored within a Group Library will count against the storage limit of the owner of that Group Library. While you have unlimited storage if your Zotero account is linked to your Harvard e-mail, you should bear in mind that this unlimited storage will default to Zotero's free 300MB storage plan once you leave Harvard. 

Search for Public Group Libraries

You can discover public group libraries on various topics by using Zotero's group library search