Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Open Source Citation Management Tool

Citing with Zotero

There are two ways to cite references using Zotero: Quick-Citing and the Word Plug-In

Word Plug-In

This Zotero feature requires Microsoft Word (if you do not have Word, skip to Quick-Citing below)

  1. Open Word, or restart Word
    • Once you install Zotero, the Word Plug-in will cite automatically)
  2. Locate the plug-in in Microsoft Word
    • Look for a toolbar, similar to the ones below
      • Depending on your version of Microsoft Word, this might be in different places—look either under Add-Ins, under Tools, or for a small pop-up window

A screenshot of the Zotero 5.0 cite screen

A screenshot of the word plug-in in Zotero 4.0


  1. Start citing
    • Create an in-text citation using the insert citation button [#1 in figure above]
      • Select a citation style
      • Search or select the citation in your Zotero Library
    • Generate a bibliography [#2 in figure above] (this requires at least one in-text citation)
      • To change the style you cited in, click on the Doc Preferences [#3 above]
      • If you need additional styles you can download them at the Zotero Style Repository:


  1. Right-click or Control click on a source in your Zotero Library (use shift to select multiple sources) 

  2. Select “Create a Bibliography from Item” from the drop-down list 

    • To create an in-text citation, use the Citations output
    • To create a reference list, select the Bibliography output
  3. Choose an output method (Copy to Clipboard is easiest for pasting directly into a document)
    • ​​Paste into a document or open the document (if output was RTF or HTML)


ZoteroBib is a interactive web tool that lets you create citations using a title, URL, ISBN, DOI or other identifiers to create citations and bibliographies.

Go to to use the tool.

Select a Citation Style

Zotero has 12 default citation styles, but you may download others (over 8300 styles available).

To set your default style:

  1. Go to Zotero Desktop
  2. Select Options/Preferences in 
  3. In the new window select the Export tab
  4. Select style from drop-down menu
  5. Ok
    NOTE: If style is not in list, follow directions below

Download other citation styles

  1. Find a style on this page,
  2. Select the style and download the file
  3. When you open the file Zotero will add it to your default style options.
Questions? Need help? Ask Us
Davidson College Library, Box 7200, 209 Ridge Rd., Davidson, NC 28035-7200
Creative Commons license logo for CC by-sa 4.0
This Davidson College Library Research Guides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
All box-title icons from Entypo pictograms by Daniel Bruce —