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Reference Managers: Mendeley & Zotero: Zotero Basics

This guide provides introductory information about two citation managers, Mendeley and Zotero.

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Introduction

Zotero is a free* reference manager developed at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. It works on PCs and Macs, and can sync your data with Zotero's servers and other computers. Your data is also available once you log in to the Zotero web site. To sign up for a Zotero account and download the software, click on the Zotero link below.

* If you want to store a large number of documents on Zotero's servers, there is a subscription fee.

Getting Started with Zotero

There are several ways you can use Zotero:

Zotero Firefox Plugin - If you use Firefox as your main browser, and you use your own computer almost exclusively, this is a good choice for you. It runs within Firefox and detects cues on web pages including library catalog pages, database pages, and the open web, providing an easy way to add citations and materials to your collection. You can sync your library in Firefox with Zotero's servers.

Zotero Connectors for Safari and Chrome - If you use one of these browsers, you can install the Zotero Connector instead. The connector also detects cues on web pages including library catalog pages, database pages, and the open web, providing an easy way to add citations and materials to your collection, but stores your information on Zotero's servers. This is a great way to use Zotero on public computers as well as your own personal computer.

Zotero Standalone - If you would like to keep a database of all your materials stored separately on your own computer, this is a helpful addition. Zotero Standalone runs on PCs and Macs, and syncs with Zotero's servers as well as the Firefox plugin.

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