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Research Guides

Citation Management Software: Organizing Citations

A guide to the commonly used citation - or reference - management software available to the U-Idaho community.

Organizing References

Create a Collection and Sub-Collection

To create a collection:

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Click My Library
  • Click New Collection
  • Type the collection name and click OK
Zotero New Collection
 
To create a sub-collection:
  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Click the name of the original collection
  • Click New Sucbollection
  • Type the sub-collection name and click OK
Zotero New Sub-Collection
 
Share Collections with Other Researchers
Zotero allows you to share collections with others by creating either private or public groups. Please visit Zotero's documentation page for more information.

Add References to a Collection or Sub-Collection

References can be included in multiple collections or sub-collections.

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Select the item(s) you want to add to a collection or sub-collection
  • Drag and drop to the collection or sub-collection

Add Tags to References

Tags are keywords that allow you to describe an item. You can add multiple tags to a single reference.

To add tags:

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Click the reference you would like to tag
  • Click the Tags tab
  • Click Add and type the name of the tag
    • Zotero will automatically suggest matching existing tags
  • Hit Enter on your keyboard or click the matching tag name
Zotero Add Tag

 

Rename Tags and Assign Colors

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Navigate to the Tag Selector area
  • Right click the name of a tag and select Rename Tag
  • Type the new name of the tag
  • Click OK
    • Zotero will update the tag name across all items that include it
    • Follow the same instructions to Assign a Tag Color or to Delete a Tag
Zotero Rename Tag

Attach a PDF to a Reference

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Right click the reference you would like to attach the PDF to
  • Click Add Attachment and select Attach Stored Copy of File

Add a Note to a Reference

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Select the reference you would like to add the note to
  • Click Notes and select Add
  • Type the note text
  • Zotero will automatically save what you type
Zotero Add a Note

Find Duplicate References

Duplicate references are those that have been added to the same Zotero Library more than once. Items added to more than one Collection are not considered duplicate items.

  • Open the Zotero desktop app
  • Navigate to the appropriate library and click Duplicate Items
  • Click each item to review its information
  • Select Merge to create a single item
Zotero Merge Duplicates