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Open Source Citation Management Tool

Creating Collections and Organizing Resources

Zotero has two main methods of organizing your library: Collections and Tags

Notes may be used to provide summaries of important information contained with a resource.


Zotero enables you to separate your sources into different collections (folders). You may create as many collections and sub-collections as you wish.

To add a collection, click the folder icon in the upper-left corner of your Zotero library.

Zotero Collection Icon

This will create an empty folder. You can then drag and drop items from your "My Library" folder to your new folder, or you can save references directly to your folder by having it selected when you are saving into Zotero.


Along with basic info like title and author, Zotero will often save additional information, like the subject terms used in a database. 



You can also add your own tags, and can even color code them for quick, visual organization!


Notes give you the ability to give yourself little reminders as to why a particular resource is useful or important for your research. If, for example, you find a journal article that makes a point that you want to refer to in your paper, you can write yourself a quick reminder in the notes section.

Search Your Zotero Library

Zotero allows you to search your library by keyword. The default search lets you search the citation and abstract, but if you install the plugin below you can search the PDFs* in your library.

  1. Go to Zotero Preferences
  2. Select the Search tab in the new window
  3. Install the pdftotext plugin
  4. ok

*NOTE: PDFs that are images (unable to highlight/copy text), cannot be searched even with this plugin.

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