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Zotero is software that helps you create citations and bibliographies. It's free and easy to use.

Adding items by ISBN

The Add Item by Identifier button in ZoteroHave a book in front of you and want to add it to your Zotero library? You don't have to search for the book's information online. Just click the "Add Item by Identifier" button (the one that looks like a magic wand). Type in the book's ISBN number, which you can find on the book's copyright page. Zotero will automatically download the book's information and save it to your library.

This trick also works with DOI or PMID numbers.

Handling PDFs

PDF icon

It's easy to add PDFs to your Zotero library and automatically import their citation info.

First, enable PDF indexing on the Search tab of Zotero's preferences.  Zotero will download and install a small plugin.

Next, drag your PDF files into the Zotero pane.

Right-click the PDFs and choose "Retrieve Metadata for PDFs."  Zotero will retrieve their citation data from Google Scholar and turn them into citeable items with PDF attachments.

If Zotero can't find a match on Google Scholar, don't worry -- you can still save the citation from another catalog or article database, then drag the PDF onto the citation to make it an attachment.

Public computers

You can use Zotero on a public computer, even if the computer doesn't have Zotero installed, by using Portable Zotero.USB thumb drive

Portable Zotero is a version of Zotero that can be installed onto a USB flash drive. You can plug this flash drive into any computer and immediately start using Zotero on that computer.

Click here for more info.