Skip to Main Content

Zotero & ZoteroBib

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Finding the Preferences Box

The Location of the Preferences box varies between PCs and Macs.  See images below.







  • Link and sync your Zotero library with your account:

  • Username should be pre-filled with the name you used when creating Zotero account.
  • Very Important: Make sure “Sync automatically” box is checked




  • Zotero's current free storage limit is 300 MB.  PDF attachments use a lot of MBs, so you may want to consider un-checking "Automatically attach associated PDFs and other files when saving items."  Click for more ideas on conserving (or expanding) storage space.

  • Consider un-checking "Automatically tag items with keywords and subject headings." Leaving this checked will allow Zotero to import supplementary metadata it detects. This level of metadata does not always import cleanly and may interfere with a tagging system you may wish to create.



Styles tab: Choose desired citation style. You may change this at any time.


Word Processors tab: Check for Word plugin installation.


Consider which "Add Citation" dialog box you would like to use.  See images of both default and "classic" below.

  • Default: Begin typing in title or author of what you'd like to cite and select the item you need.


  • Classic: Allows you to "drill down" from folder to item. This view also prompts you for a page number.


Connect to WashU Library holdings and subscriptions

Adding the OpenURL resolver connects you to WashU holdings and subscriptions, allowing you to look up books in our catalog and access full-text articles through University Libraries' subscriptions (or request via interlibrary loan). 

To Set Up 

Go to Preferences > Advanced. Select: Custom > North America Washington University in St. Louis


To Use in Zotero: Select item in library > select green arrow dropdown > choose: Library Lookup

Learn more about OpenURL and see a list of institutional Open URLs, which includes Washington University in St. Louis.