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Stony Brook University


Collect, Organize, Cite, and Share Your Information

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This guide is no longer being maintained (Spring 2022). Zotero has excellent help pages available at

Please also feel free to contact with any questions. 

citing sources

Zotero allows you to collect and organize all of your references and quickly add in-text citations to your Microsoft Word / Apache OpenOffice / NeoOffice / LibreOffice documents. You can also drag and drop your references into any word processor, an email message, a Google doc, or a blog post to automatically create bibliographies on the fly.

Microsoft Word / OpenOffice / Zotero Integrations:
Depending on which word processor you use, you will need to download to the Microsoft Word Zotero plug-in or the Apache OpenOffice / NeoOffice / LibreOffice Zotero plug-in in order to link your Zotero library to your word processor. Using Microsoft Word, click on the Add-Ins tab to view the Zotero Custom Toolbar.

Zotero Word Integration

To insert an in-text citation from your Zotero references into your document:

  • Click the "Insert a Citation" button located on the upper right side of your word processing document; Zotero will automatically open as red field within which you can search for a resource to cite. 

I prefer to use the Classic View of inserting a citation, which opens in a pop-up window. If you'd like to use the Classic View, click on the Actions icon > Preferences > Cite > be sure to check the box next to Use classic Add Citationdialog > click OK, as seen below. If you do not have the word processor integrated yet, you can easily get it by clicking on the Get word processor plug-ins... link within the Cite preferences area.

Classic View of Add Citation

  • Choose the bibliographic citation style you would like to use
  • Next, select the item from your library that you would like to cite and add the page number; click OK


Zotero will insert the reference according to the citation style you have designated. Click the 'Show Editor' button to preview how your citation will look within your document.

You can add multiple sources in the same citation by clicking on the 'Multiple Sources' button, selecting the desired sources, and clicking the green arrow to add them right column. Designate the appropriate page number for each source.

multiple citation

Click OK and all of the items you've selected and their respective page numbers will be appear in the context of your document, as seen below.

multiple citation

creating bibliographies

Zotero allows you to easily create bibliographies (in any bibliographic style) a few different ways. You can even generate an annotated bibliography directly from Zotero!

First, you can add citations to your document using Zotero's in-text citation function and simply click the "Insert bibliography" icon within Microsoft Word using the Microsoft Word Zotero plug-in (or Apache OpenOffice / LibreOffice / NeoOffice plug-ins). Once you've got the plug-in installed, your Zotero tools can be found in the "Add-Ins" tab (Microsoft Word 2007).

You can always change the bibliographic style by going into Preferences and choosing a different style. There is no need to regenerate the bibliography; Zotero will automatically make the adjustments.

Click the "Insert Bibliography" icon (third from left) to automatically create a bibliography in the style you've chosen. It's really that easy!

generating a bibliography in Word


Quick Copy: drag and drop your resources to create a bibliography in seconds!

Another way to create a bibliography is to use Zotero's Quick Copy function. To configure Quick Copy (Zotero speak for "drag and drop"), click on the Actions icon (looks like a gear) > Preferences > Export > choose your default output bibliographic style; in this example, MLA > click OK. Now you are ready to create a bibliography using Quick Copy.

Simply select/highlight and then drag and drop the desired resources from your Zotero library pane into your word processing document, Google doc, new email message, blog post, etc. It's really that easy!

Zotero will automatically create an alphabetized, formatted bibliography with just one click!