Zotero (Full-Featured Reference Manager) & ZoteroBib (Bibliography Builder)

ZoteroBib - Add Bibliography Items

Open ZoteroBib, https://zbib.org/ , in one browser tab.

In another browser tab, open a description of the item you are interested in (or the full text of the item).

Copy into the ZoteroBib search bar one of the following:

  • item's DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
  • item's PMID (PubMed ID)
  • item's ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • item's arXiv identifier

If you cannot find one of the above identifiers, copy/type the title of the item into the ZoteroBib search bar.

ZoteroBib says that you can copy an item's web page address (page URL) into the ZotroBib search bar. HOWEVER, the page URLs DO NOT WORK in ZoteroBib if you are using EMU Library search tools to discover items for your bibliogrpahy, for example, if you are searching in the Esearch search box on the Library home page, or any ProQuest or EBSCOhost database (e.g., PSYCinfo, ERIC, CINAHL).

If ZoteroBib does not generate a bibliographic entry from the information you put in the ZoteroBib search bar, you can click the Manual Entry button below the search bar to type descriptive information about the item manually.

ZoteroBib - Edit Bibliograhy Items

You might need to add or change a few fields after adding an item. Click the Edit button (or the item in the bibliography) to make manual changes.

ZoteroBib - Delete Bibliograhy Items

Click the Remove icon (X) next to a bibliography entry to delete it. To start a new bibliography, click Delete All to remove all entries.

ZoteroBib - Where is Your Bibliography Stored

Your bibliography is stored in your browser’s local storage by default. You can close the page and return to it later, and your bibliography will still be there— no need to worry about saving your data or logging in.

Note that if you’re using private/incognito mode in your browser, your bibliography will be deleted as soon as you close the window, so if you choose to use private browsing be sure to periodically use the Link to this version Create box (see below) and save the URL.

ZoteroBib - Select Bibliography Style

In ZoteroBbib, in the Bibliography panel, click the blue style bar to select one of the default bibliographic styles or click the link saying '9,000+ other styles available...' to search for the bibliographic style you need.

NOTE Regarding APA Style Titles:
APA style requires titles to be in sentence case rather than title case. When you use APA style, ZoteroBib will partially convert the titles of entries to sentence case for you, but you’ll need to manually edit some entries (see Edit Bibliography Items above) to capitalize proper nouns. Also, the first letter of the word following a colon (:) in a title is capitalized:

Title case: George Washington: A Hero for American Students?

ZoteroBib conversion: George washington: a hero for american students?


Sentence case: George Washington: A hero for American students?



NOTE Regarding APA Style Issue Numbers:
APA style specifies that if periodicals are paginated across an entire volume, e.g., starting on page 1 in January and ending on page 1,000 in December, then the ISSUE NUMBER should NOT be included in the reference citation. If a periodical starts each issue with page 1, then the issue number should be included in the reference citation. Many search tools include an issue number if there is one, so when the information is pulled into ZoteroBib, the issue number will be included. Since most academic journals are paginated across the entire volume you will often have to manually delete the issue number from the ZoteroBib reference citation 
(see Edit Bibliography Items above).

If you see the periodical information in ZoteroBib as:
The Social Studies, 88(4), 154-156
click on the citation in ZoteroBib and delete Issue 4.
After you click the Done button, you will see:
The Social Studies88, 154-156

ZoteroBib - Change Bibliography Title (if desired)

To rename your bibliography, just click its title (default is Bibliography). A title can be useful if you’re switching between multiple projects or sharing a bibliography with others.

ZoteroBib - Add Parenthetical Citations or Footnotes/Endnotes as You Write Your Paper

As you write, ZoteroBib can help you quickly generate parenthetical citations (APA, MLA) or footnotes/endnotes (Chicago, Turabian) for the specific quotes, facts, or ideas you’re including into your paper. Just click the copy icon next to an entry in your bibliography,

enter the relevant page range or section of the source that you’re citing, and click Copy Citation or Copy Note. You can then paste the citation into your paper.

For styles such as APA and MLA, if you incorporate an author’s name into a sentence (“As Smith writes…”), you can use the “Omit Author” option to include only a date and/or page number in the parenthetical citation (“(2015, pp. 12–13)”).

ZoteroBib - Create/Export Bibliography

When you’re done, you can use the Export panel to copy a formatted bibliography to the clipboard and paste it into your document. You can also export HTML to add to a webpage, an RTF document to open in a word processor, or a RIS or BibTeX file to import into a reference manager.


ZoteroBib - Link to This Version Create Box

If you want to work on your ZoteroBib bibliography on another computer or share your bibliography with someone else, you can click the Link to this version Create box in ZoteroBib.


This will upload a copy of your bibliography to zbib.org and generate a link that you can use to retrieve that version of your bibliography later. (ZoteroBib recommends storing the link in the document you’re working on so you have everything in one place.) Once you’ve generated a link and stored it safely, you can click Delete All if you want to remove the bibliography from the current computer. (NOTE: Should you make further changes to your bibliography in ZoteroBib, those changes are not uploaded unless you use Link to this version Create box again, which will generate a new URL.)

Library Guy

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Keith Stanger
Eastern Michigan University Library
955 West Circle Drive
Room 100G
Ypsilanti, MI 48197


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