What is Zotero?

Zotero is a free, open-source citation tool that works with Chrome and Firefox. It allows you to collect metadata that can be inserted into Word as citations and bibliographies.

Strengths of Zotero

  • Unlimited storage when you register using your Harvard email address.
  • 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.

Zotero library interface

Get Started with Zotero

To get the most out of Zotero, use the Zotero: Getting Started guide. It will walk you through installation and configuring the tool to work with Harvard Library resources..


Do you just need to produce a quick bibliography? Try ZoteroBib to create a bibliography quickly in a variety of citation styles without creating an account or installing any software.

Zotero Classes at Harvard

Upcoming FAS Workshops (Open to the Harvard community)

The next Zotero workshops we plan to offer will occur in Fall 2023. If you would like to learn about Zotero before then, please submit an inquiry to the Citation Tools Help form in this guide. 

Upcoming HKS Workshops 

For HKS workshops, please consult our KNet calendar (HKS Login) or look for announcements in HKS Daily. You can also contact the HKS Library for an ad hoc training session for you and/or your team.

Upcoming Countway Workshops

Countway Library will be offering more Zotero workshops in Spring 2022. 

Zotero User Group

Have you been using Zotero for a while? Would you like an opportunity to trade ideas with other Zotero users and learn more advanced user tips? Join our Zotero User Group meetings to learn about topics such as note-taking in Zotero, using Zotero in courses, and Zotero workflows with other productivity tools. Zotero User Group meetings will start with a brief presentation on an advanced Zotero user topic, then open up for general questions and discussion of any needs expressed by users present.


Interested in future sessions? Sign up for our Zotero User Group mailing list.

Virtual Zotero help

To get started with Zotero, follow the instructions to download and install Zotero

Check out our new videos (2 minutes or less)!


Help from Zotero:

Zotero is open source. They have an extensive Zotero Documentation section with lots of helpful tips. They also have a robust user community. If you have a question, chances are good someone else has asked it and been answered. Check out the Zotero Forums or just Google it to find discussions.

Get Library Help with Zotero