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Zotero Citation Software

guide to using the free Zotero citation and research management program

Zotero on Chromebooks

You will not be able to load the full Zotero program on your Chromebook. However, you can do many things using the Zotero website and your online library.  

Credits: This page is adapted from the Zotero and Chromebook page of the Zotero guide from the Gould Library at Carleton College. Adapted under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Thanks for permission to adapt and reuse.

Get started


Register for a free account at the website. FYI: You will need to verify your registration in the email you used to set up this account. 


Install Zotero's Chrome Connector from the Zotero website. 

Add to your Zotero library

Zotero Icons

Zotero icons will change depending on the type of source you want to add. Click on the icon to save the citation to your online library.

Zotero icon for a book; image of icon in a WorldCat search

Saving a citation

Using Zotero's Chrome Connector on a Chromebook Zotero pop-up window asking "Is Zotero Running?" if Zotero desktop application is not present


  1. Click on the Zotero icon for the source you want to cite. 
  2. A box will pop up that asks "Is Zotero Running?"
  3. Click "Enable Saving to Online Library."
  4. Accept any permissions that may appear.


Manually Adding Items

You can also manually add a citation.Zotero online that highlights the plus icon to manually add an item


  1. Login to to access your library.
  2. Click on plus icon (+) to create a "New Item".

Saving PDFs and Other Files

Zotero will try to add a PDF when you first save the item. However, if it is unable to do so, or if you get the PDF later via interlibrary loan, you can add it. 


  1. Download the file to your computer.
  2. Login to and go to your Library.
  3. Click on the item you have saved.
  4. Click on "Attachments" in the item menu.
  5. Under Attachments, click on "Add File".
  6. Choose the file you want add from your computer. 
  7. Click to add.

Zotero online library image with steps to add an Attachment to an existing item

Organize your Zotero records

Create Collections (Folders)

You can create folders to organizing your items by course, by topic, anything you want. This is way to have work associated with a particular class project. Zotero online library image showing how to get the plus icon My Library, to add a folder


  1. Login to to access your library.
  2. Click on the plus icon (+) by My Library to create a collection (folder). This plus icon appears when you mouse over the My Library box.
  3. Give your folder a name.
  4. You will drag citations into this folder to move them to it. They will still appear in your My Library, too.


Writing your paper

Bibliography, In-Text Citations, and Notes

You can copy and paste your bibliography (aka Works Cited, References), in any format you want, from your library. However, you will have to add your own In-Text citations and notes on your Chromebook.

Steps to Create your Bibliography 

  1. Login to to access your library.
  2. Select the items you want to include in your bibliography. You can hold down the Command button on your keyboard to select multiple items (also works with Control on a Mac).
  3. Click on the paper stack icon, aka "Create Bibliography".
  4. Choose your Citation Style.
  5. Copy the bibliography by clicking on "Copy to Clipboard". 
  6. Paste the bibliography to your paper.

Zotero online library, shows paper stack icon to manually copy of bibliography from selected items