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Which Version is Best for You?

Zotero can be downloaded as a Firefox extension or as a stand-alone version which runs as a separate program and works with Chrome, and Safari.  But, which version should you choose?

Zotero for Firefox

  • Allows you to take advantage of all Zotero features
  • Lives in your browser and opens as either a browser pane or a separate tab
  • Requires the installation of a word processor plugin in order to insert citations and build bibliographies as you write

Zotero Standalone

  • A browser independent application that can be used in Chrome and Safari, as well as Firefox
  • Is sometimes unable to automatically import file attachments
  • Cannot offer some of the advanced features of Zotero for Firefox
  • Requires the installation of a Zotero Connector [unless used in the Firefox browser]


The following sources were used in the creation of this guide:

  • Hannah Gascho Rempel's guide to Zotero at Oregon State University Libraries
  • Jason Puckett's guide to Zotero at Georgia State University Library
  • Karcher, S., Zelle, R. M. (n.d.). Mastering Zotero: A user guide for the Zotero reference manager. Retrieved from:
  • Puckett, J. (2011). Zotero: A guide for librarians, researchers, and educators. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.

What is Zotero and How Can it Help You?

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.  It is designed to be used throughout the entire research process, start to finish.  Here are some things you can do with Zotero:

  • Install quickly and easily
  • Run on any operating system
  • Use 300 MB of free web storage [additional storage is available at a minimal cost]
  • Download as a Firefox extension or as a stand-alone version that works with Chrome and Safari in addition to Firefox
  • Add citations to your Zotero library directly from a library catalog, a database, a journal website, Google Scholar, and WorldCat
  • Attach PDF's, notes, tags, and images to your citations
  • Create bibliographies and add citations directly into a Word or LibreOffice document [note: this requires installation of the word processor plug-in on the Firefox version]
  • Sync your library for use on multiple computers or devices
  • Organize your references into searchable collections
  • Share your sources with others
  • Create group libraries


Library Director

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Betsy Byrd
Library Office #108

Reference Librarian

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Betsy Byrd
Library Office #108