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This resource guide can help you get started using the research management tool Zotero.

Zotero Groups

  • Zotero Groups provide a powerful way to share collections with a class, work closely with colleagues on a project, keep track of conversations in your field more broadly, and keep tabs on what people at your institution or in your department are working on.
  • There is no limit on how many members may join your groups, and your full storage subscription is always available to your personal and group libraries.
  • Group Libraries are separate from your personal My Library, so you can also use Zotero groups as a way to keep separate libraries within one Zotero profile.


Using Zotero Groups

1.  Click on the "New Group" button in the Zotero Standalone or Zotero for Firefox toolbar 

  • This will open a new tab in your browser to a Zotero groups page where you can continue the group creation process. 

2.  Give your group a name, select the group type and click "Create Group"

  • If you are unsure of which group type to choose, click on the next tab to read a brief description.

3.  Establish group preferences by clicking on the Group Settings, Member Settings, and Library Settings links 

  • Each of these settings allow you to add detailed information about your group, and establish authorizations for group members. 

4.  Invite members to your group by clicking on the "Member Settings" then click the "Invite Members" link near the bottom of the page

  • This can be done for any type of group, but if your group is private this members can only join by invitation. 

5.  Add resources to share with your group by dragging files from any of your collections over to the group name listed beneath your library in Zotero Standalone or Zotero for Firefox

  • If you do not see the group in Zotero, click on the "Sync" button in your toolbar. 
  • References added to group libraries are copies- changes and edits made in a group collection will not appear in your library. Drag the reference back into "My Library" to add any changes to your file.  
  • You can create collections and subcollections to organize resources within your group libraries by clicking on the group name, then the "New Collection" button in the toolbar. 

There are no membership limits for any groups in Zotero. 

Private Groups: Provides an easy way to share resources and notes with colleagues and research partners. All members of the group may access and contribute references and files (administrators must enable file sharing privileges). This is the ideal group type for sharing resources between a small group of researchers. 

  • "Private groups provide a means of collaboration among group members without creating any public face for the group online."
  • Private groups cannot be found by searching in Zotero.
  • Group names will not appear in member profiles, or through Google searching.
  • Storage for the group is shared with the owner's personal library.  With a free Zotero account you will have 300MB to split between your personal library and the groups you own.

Public, Closed Membership: Publicly visible and searchable, but may only be joined by Zotero users who are invited or request an invitation. Group members may access and contribute references and files (administrators must enable file sharing privileges). This is the ideal group type for promoting discussion on shared research with a wider group of participants. 

  • "Closed-membership groups are useful for creating a controlled group environment with a public presence. This allows a group to publicly present its work and sources, or develop new membership in a controlled fashion."
  • Closed Membership groups can be found by searching in Zotero and Google.
  • Group resources may be visible to non-members by adjusting the "Library Settings." 

Public, Open Membership: Publicly visible and searchable, may be joined by an Zotero users instantly. This is the ideal group type for broad discussions. 

  • Open membership groups can be found by searching Zotero and Google.
  • Group resources may be visible to non-members by adjusting the "Library Settings." 
  • File sharing is not allowed in public groups.

You also have the option to adjust membership settings to assign group members as regular members, administrators, or owners. For more information about membership settings click on the "Zotero Support: Groups" link below. 

Zotero has over 40,000 groups available for you to view or join. 

1.  Log into your Zotero web dashboard, click on the "Groups" tab and click to browse or search for groups

  • You can search by group name, or by Zotero user. 

2.  Review the "Group type" and "Group library" sections to see if you will be able to join a group, or access the group library

3.  Click on the group name to review the list of recently added references, then click "Join Group" to become a member

4.  Click the "Sync" button in Zotero Standalone or Zotero for Firefox to add the new group library


Zotero Servers

  • Items synced to the Zotero servers can be accessed online through your account. Share your library with others or create a custom C.V. from selected items.
  • Make copies of your research readily available on for readers, the public, and other researchers using My Publications.
For questions or feedback contact the McQuade Library
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