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Citation Management for Law Students

Learn how to use Zotero (a free citation management tool) to organize your research and create Bluebook citations.

What is Zotero?

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free citation management tool that helps you collect, organize, and cite your research.

Here's how it works:

Collect: Zotero automatically senses the content in your web browser and allows you to quickly save citations for articles, cases, books, blogs, and more to your personal library.

Organize: sort the items in your personal library into collections, and edit or annotate items as needed.

Cite: while writing, use Zotero to insert Bluebook citations directly into your paper or article (other citation styles are also available).

Installing Zotero

To install:

  1. Go to the Zotero website and click the red "Download Now" button.
  2. Select "Zotero for Firefox" or "Zotero Standalone" and follow the installation instructions.
  3. If using Zotero Standalone, make sure you also install a connector for Chrome, Safari, or Opera.
  4. Register for a free, web-based Zotero account, if you want to access your Zotero files from any computer or smartphone.

Which version should I use?

​Zotero for Firefox: This is the original and most reliable version. This version is also more compatible with Westlaw and Lexis. It's embedded within Firefox, however, so you must use Firefox while researching in order to save items to your Zotero library.

Zotero Standalone: If you prefer to use Chrome, Safari, or Opera, download Zotero Standalone and the appropriate connector. This version is nearly identical to Zotero for Firefox, but does not offer all of the same advanced features because it is not embedded in your web browser.


Zotero cannot be used on public access computers (such as the computers in the library and computer lab) because it requires you to download a browser plugin.

Using Zotero

If you are using Safari: Zotero icons will appear to the left of the address bar of your web browser. The process is the same: click the icons to quickly save items to your Zotero library.

zotero for safari

For written directions on getting started (and for more information), see this quick start guide from Zotero:

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