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Research Guides@Tufts

Zotero: the Basics

Getting Started with Zotero

Once you have installed Zotero,  it's time to get started! This section will review the following:

Zotero Terminology

Item - a reference or a source of information. Zotero uses "items" to represent references for books, articles, etc.

Library - a master folder of organized references. The default "My Library" is personal and cannot be shared.

Collection - a child folder (sub-folder) found in your Library. You can also have sub-collections within a collection.

Group - a Library used for sharing references with others. There are 3 different types of Group Libraries: 

  • Public, Open Membership - Anyone can view your group online and join the group instantly.
  • Public, Closed Membership - Anyone can view your group online, but members must apply or be invited.
  • Private Membership - Only members can view your group online and must be invited to join.

For more information, visit the Zotero documentation topic on groups.

Using Collections to Organize References

To create a new collection within your Zotero Library, follow these steps:

  1. Click the “New Collection…” button (folder icon with green and white plus sign) above the left pane in Zotero to add a new collection. (You may also right-click on “My Library” or the name of a Group library and choose “New Collection…”)
  2. The new collection will appear as a folder under “My Library” or the selected Group library.

For more information, visit the Zotero documentation topic on collections.

Syncing References to your Zotero Account

PCs

  1. Open the Zotero program on your computer. (For instructions on how to install, please visit the topic on "Installing Zotero")
  2. Go to Edit > Preferences > Sync
  3. Log into your Zotero Account, then select "Set up Syncing" button.
  4. Keep the defaults or adjust your desired syncing settings, then select "OK"

Macs

  1. Open the Zotero program on your computer. (For instructions on how to install, please visit the topic on "Installing Zotero")
  2. Go to Zotero  > Preferences > Sync
  3. Log into your Zotero Account, then select "Set up Syncing" button.
  4. Keep the defaults or adjust your desired syncing settings, then select "OK"

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