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Mushtaq Bilal, PhD

Mushtaq Bilal, PhD
@MushtaqBilalPhD

Nov 25
27 tweets
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Zotero is the best citation management software β€” it's free and does not monetize your data But many folks have a hard time starting out on it. Here's how you can get started on Zotero in 15min: Zotero for beginners: a step-by-step tutorial 🧡

Go to Zotero's website, click on the "Download" button.
A screenshot of the landing page of Zotero. A yellow arrow points  to the "Download" button.
You'll need to install two things: 1. Zotero desktop app 2. Zotero Connector to connect your app to your web browser Download and install the desktop app first. [For this tutorial, I'm using a Windows PC, and Google Chrome.]
A screenshot of Zotero's homepage. A red rectangle highlights Zotero 6 for Windows and the "Download" button.
Open the Zotero desktop app once it's installed. It's interface will look like this. [I couldn't take a screenshot of the welcome message. If anyone does, please share.]
A screenshot of the main user interface of the Zotero desktop app.
Go back to Zotero's homepage. Click on "Install Chrome Connector." [Zotero Connectors are also available for Microsoft Edge and Firefox. The Connector for Safari is bundled with Zotero. You can enable it form the Extension pane of the Safari preferences.]
A screenshot of Zotero's homepage. A red rectangle highlights the "Install Chrome Connector" button.
You'll be taken to the Zotero Connector in the Chrome Web Store. Click on "Add to Chrome."
A screenshot of the Zotero Connector in the Chrome Web Store. A yellow arrow points to the "Add to Chrome" button.
After adding the Zotero Connector, click on the puzzle-like sign in the top right corner of Chrome. It will open your Chrome Extensions. Go to Zotero and pin it to your Chrome.
A screenshot of Google Chrome on Mushtaq's computer. A red rectangle points to the puzzle-like sign, and another to the pin button in the Extensions menu.
Now go back to Zotero's landing page and create a free account.
A screenshot of Zotero's login page. A red rectangle highlights the "Log In" button in the top right corner. Another rectangle highlights the "Register for a free account" button.
Now go to the Zotero desktop app and click on "File" and then "New Collections." [Zotero's collections are *like* folders but they aren't exactly folders. Tell us if you know what the difference is.]
A screenshot of Zotero's main user interface. A yellow arrow points to "New Collection" in the "File" menu.
Think of a project you've worked on in the past and use its title to name the collection: [Project Name]-Mock. Avoid doing it with a work-in-progress when starting out. [For illustrative purposes, I'm naming the collection "Pakistani Anglophone Literature - Mock."]
A screenshot of the "New Collection" menu in Zotero. Mushtaq has named the collection "Pakistani Anglophone Literature - Mock."
Go to Google Scholar and look up keywords related to your project. [I'm looking up "Pakistani Anglophone Literature."] Then click on the Zotero Connector in the top right corner. [You can also do this with your university's library or a search engine like PubMed.]
A screenshot of a Google Scholar page showing search results for "Pakistani Anglophone Literature." A yellow arrow points to the Zotero Connector in the top right corner.
This will open a "Zotero Item Selector" box with all the search results on the page. Select the items relevant to your project.
A screenshot of the Zotero Item Selector on a Google Scholar page.
Zotero will show that it's saving the items in your library. Since I named the collection "Pakistani Anglophone Literature" and looked up the same words, Zotero automatically knows where to save these items.
A screenshot of the Zotero Connector saving items to the collection "Pakistani Anglophone Literature."
Go to the Zotero desktop app and you will see all the selected items in the relevant collection. But that's not it. Zotero will also look for un-paywalled PDFs of these items from around the web and add them to your collection.
A screenshot of the items in the "Pakistani Anglophone Literature" collection. A yellow arrow points to the "Pakistani Anglophone Literature" collection.
You can also add items using DOIs, PMIDs, and ISBNs. To do so, click on the "Add Item(s) by Identifier" button and paste the relevant identifier. Here I'm adding an item using its DOI. [Quiz: the first person to tell me the title of this item will get a free Zotero workshop.]
A screenshot of Mushtaq's Zotero library. A red rectangle points to the "Add Item(s) by Identifier" button.
Once you've added the items, you can open them up by double clicking on them. You can annotate a PDF (left pane) and take notes (right pane) *in* Zotero.
A screenshot of a PDF opened in Zotero's inbuilt PDF reader.
Now open a blank document in MS Word. You'll see that Zotero has automatically installed a plugin.
A screenshot of a blank document in MS Word. Two red rectangles highlight the Zotero plugin.
Select a quote from one of the papers in your collection, and type it in the document. To add an in-text citation, click on "Add/Edit Citation" in the Zotero menu.
A screenshot of an MS Word document. A yellow arrow points to the "Add/Edit Citation" button in the Zotero tab.
Zotero may open "Document Preferences" with a list of available citation styles. Select the style appropriate to your field.
A screenshot of Zotero's "Document Preferences" in MS Word.
Zotero will open a red search bar.
A screenshot of Zotero's citation search bar in MS Word.
Enter the name of the author you want to cite. Zotero will show you the relevant item in your library. Select the item.
A screenshot of the Zotero citation search bar in MS Word with the name "Cilano" in it.
Zotero will prepare the citation for insertion. You can also add page numbers by clicking on the citation in the search bar. Add a few in-text citations from different items in your collection.
A screenshot of a citation in the Zotero's citation search bar. Mushtaq is adding the page number to the citation.
Once you're done with in-text citations, click on "Add/Edit Bibliography" in the Zotero tab.
A screenshot of an MS Word document. A yellow arrow points to the "Add/Edit Bibliography" in the Zotero tab.
Zotero will add the bibliography according to the style you had selected.
A screenshot of a document in MS Word. A red rectangle highlights the bibliography that Mushtaq added using the Zotero plugin.
One last thing: go and log in to your Zotero account.
A screenshot of Zotero's login page.
Click on "Web Library" and you will see that your library in the Zotero desktop app is available in your web library too.
A screenshot of the collection "Pakistani Anglophone Literature" in Zotero's web library.
Hope you found this tutorial useful. And if you did: 1. Scroll to the top and retweet the first tweet to share it with your friends and colleagues. 2. Follow me @Mushtaq Bilal, PhD for more Zotero tutorials.
Mushtaq Bilal, PhD

Mushtaq Bilal, PhD

@MushtaqBilalPhD
I simplify the process of academic writing | Assit. Prof. @ibakarachi | Assoc. Editor @Routledge_JPW | Alum @FulbrightPrgrm | he, him | mush'taak be'laal
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