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

Add by Identifier

  • Zotero can add items automatically using their an ISBN number, Digital Object Identifier (DOI), or PubMed ID. This is done by clicking the Add Item by Identifier button in the Zotero toolbar, typing in the ID number, and clicking OK. You can even paste or enter (press Shift+Enter for a larger box) a list of such identifiers at once.


  • Items can have notes, files, and links attached to them. These attachments appear in the middle pane underneath their parent item. Attachments can be shown or hidden by clicking the arrow next to their parent item. 


  • Rich-text notes can be attached to any item through the Notes tab in the right-hand pane. They can be edited in the right-hand pane or in their own window. Click the New Note button in the toolbar to create a note without attaching it to an item. 
  • There are two kinds of notes: child notes, which belong to a specific item, and standalone notes. 
  • Notes are synced along with item metadata; they don't count against your Zotero file storage quota.


  • Any type of file can be attached to an item. Attach files with the Add Attachment (paperclip) button in the Zotero toolbar, by right-clicking on an existing item, or by drag-and-dropping. Files do not need to be attached to existing items. They can simply be added to your library. Files can also be downloaded automatically when you import items using the Zotero Connector in your browser.

Saving a Webpage

  • Zotero can archive a webpage by creating a snapshot — an offline file reflecting the state of the page at the time the snapshot was taken. 
  • If the Zotero Connector does not recognize data on a page, you can save the page as a Web Page item with an attached snapshot by clicking the Zotero save button in the browser toolbar. You can also take a snapshot of any page by right-clicking (click-and-hold in Safari) on the Zotero save button and choosing “Save to Zotero (Web Page with Snapshot)”.
  • By default, Zotero will save snapshots when importing items from webpages. You can disable this setting in the Zotero preferences.


  • Feeds are a great way to discover new research. With feeds, you can subscribe to updates from a journal, website, publisher, institution, research group, or other source and quickly find new articles or works. If you find an item in a publication's feed that you want to save and read further, you can add it to your Zotero library with the click of a button. 
  • To subscribe to a feed, click the Add Library button above the left pane in the Zotero window. You can add feeds in two ways. First, you can add a feed using the URL provided on the journal's (or other source's) website. For journals, these are usually available from the journal homepage. Look for the RSS icon or search for the journal name and “RSS feed” in a search engine. Many publishers place the RSS icon next to social media buttons or email alert links.
  • Once you've found the RSS feed URL for your source, click the Add Feed menu, then choose “From URL…”. The Add Feed window will open. Paste the RSS feed URL to the URL text field. If the URL is for a valid feed, you will be able to enter a title for the feed and click “Save”. You can click “Advanced Options” to adjust how frequently a feed updates and to set how long read and unread items are kept in a feed before being removed. You can also import a set of feeds using an OPML file (e.g., from a list of subscriptions exported from Feedly or other RSS Reader services). To import an OPML file, choose “From OPML…” from the Add Feed menu.
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