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Reference Management Tools for Academic Writing

A Comprehensive Guide for EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero

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References in Zotero

Before you can insert in-text citations and bibliographies into your research paper, you have to add references into Zotero.  In most cases, you can simply add references by the Zotero Connector embedded in your browser:

The logo of Zotero Connector depends on the type of reference sensed by Zotero.  Here are some examples:  

Add References from OneSearch

You can add references from OneSearch to Zotero with the following steps:

Add References from Databases

Most databases support the Zotero Connector. Below are examples for Web of Science and Google Scholar.

Web of Science


Google Scholar

Add References from Webpages

The Zotero Connector can help you to add references from webpages with snapshot easily: 

Add References from PDF

If you already have PDF file(s) on your device, you can simply drag and drop the PDF(s) into Zotero to generate reference(s).  

Unlike EndNote, the PDF(s) can be with or without Digital Object Identifier (DOI).  However, the PDF must be text-recognizable, i.e.: not an image file created by a scanner.

-For the first time, you will be guided to install the PDF tools...

Add References from RIS Files

In case the Zotero Connector embedded in browser does not work, you can still add references in Zotero by importing RIS file(s).  Here is an example for Science Direct:

Add References from Identifiers

You can also directly create references in Zotero by ISBNs, DOIs or PMIDs of the reference materials.

Add References Manually

Sometimes you may need to create references manually, like when you are using more unique materials like legal cases, newspapers or even films.

To create references manually, it is useful for you to have some knowledge on the requirements of your citation styles for these materials - what kind of information do you need to provide hence which fields do you need to fill. 

Tips for entering author name manually:

1) Personal author:

You should enter: Last Name and then First Name (e.g. Chan, Brain)

2) Institutional author:

Change the author field for institutional author by steps below: 


3) Multiple authors:

Creative Commons License

Except where otherwise noted, the content of this guide is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.