Skip to Main Content




Use Zotero to generate accurate citations and quick bibliographies. Zotero is a popular free open source citation management tool that makes saving and citing online resources, including websites, YouTube videos, news articles, and scholarly database results, a breeze. Some of Zotero's strengths include its ability to capture a multitude of resource types with the click of a button, and its group library function, with no limit on group membership. 

Not a fan of Zotero? Check out the Purdue Online Writing Lab for assistance with citing APA, MLA and Chicago.

Need help or have questions? Reach out to the W&M Libraries’ Research Department at!

Get started with Zotero

New to Zotero? To take advantage of W&M’s institutional access and unlimited storage simply create a Zotero account using your W&M email address. To do so, go to and select “Log In” and “Register for a New Account”. Once you’ve established your account online, be sure to set up file syncing in your Zotero desktop library.

Already have a Zotero account? You can still benefit! All you need to do is log into your Zotero cloud account and change your primary email address to your W&M email account. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and log in with your current email address and password.
  2. Go to “Settings” and “Manage Email Addresses”.
  3. Add your W&M email address as a secondary email address and click save.
  4. Set your W&M email address as the primary address for your account.

Once you’ve made these changes, make sure you go into your Zotero desktop library, open preferences, and update your email address and password under “Sync.”

Do you need a specialized citation style beyond APA, Chicago, or MLA? Check out Zotero's Style Repository for specialized formats. And see the links below to get started quickly using Zotero!

More in-depth Zotero info and tutorials

What's the difference between Zotero and other citation tools?

Citation Managers

Creating and managing citations can be a hassle, but you can use a citation manager to make things easier. A citation manager is a software that will automatically format citations for you, allowing you to easily create a bibliography when you're done writing. However, it's very important to always double-check your citations for accuracy
How do I download it? Click here  Click here to download desktop application and browser connector. In a hurry? Try Zbib for quick citing No desktop application -- access it online here
How much does it cost?  It's free! (with costs for upgraded storage) It's free! (& the library has a subscription for unlimited data storage) The library pays for a subscription so that it's free to every W&M student/faculty.       
How much storage does it offer?  2 GB cloud storage  300 MB cloud storage (but unlimited on desktop application) Unlimited
Can it store articles (PDFs)? Yes -- you can "drag and drop" and organize your PDFs into folders. PDFs are fully keyword searchable.  Yes -- you can "drag and drop" and organize your PDFs into folders. PDFs are fully keyword searchable. No
Can I use it to collaborate on a group project? Yes -- you can create groups that then share documents and citations. Yes -- you can create groups that then share documents and citations. Kind of -- you can create a shared folder that other people can view, but not contribute to.
Can I use it across different devices?  Yes -- it has a web platform as well as a desktop application, and they sync.  Yes -- it has a web platform as well as a desktop application, and they sync. Yes -- it is entirely web-based. 
Can I use it to make citations & bibliographies as I write? Yes -- you can download a plugin for Word or LibreOffice that will let you cite as you go.  Yes -- there is a Word and LibreOffice plugin that downloads standard with the desktop Zotero application. Yes -- you can download the "Write-N-Cite" plugin for Word that lets you cite as you go. 
Does it let me annotate (write & highlight) articles that I have stored? Yes Yes No -- does not store PDF's.