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Citing Sources

How to cite sources in your writing and use citation management software to organize your references and format your bibliography automatically

Zotero Overview

Zotero is a free, open-source citation manager. The free option carries an online storage limit of 300 MB. Colorado School of Mines has an institutional subscription that removes this storage limitation. This guide will help you get set up and started with using Zotero.

Quick Start Guide

Zotero Installation Guide

  1. Close Word; if Word is open Zotero tends to not install the Word plugin properly.

  1. Go to the Zotero Download Page
    1. First, download and install Zotero. It will automatically recognize your operating system. Click the download link and follow the installation instructions.
    2. Second, install the Zotero Connector. It will automatically recognize your browser. If you want to install the connector on more than one browser, revisit this page in that browser.

Screen Capture of Zotero site

  1. You need both Zotero and the Zotero Connector. Please make certain they are both installed.
    1. Open Zotero from your app tray or start menu on your dektop. Check that it opens.
    2. In your preferred browser, the Zotero Connector should appear in the upper right-hand corner (see below). If it doesn’t appear there, try to close and reopen your browser.

Screen Capture of Zotero Connector

    1. Additionally, you can now start Word, wherein you should see a Zotero ribbon as shown below.

 Screen capture of Zotero ribbon

    1. If you were unable to complete any of previous tasks, please reach out to Seth Vuletich (

  1. A Zotero account allows you to synch your reference list across devices. Though Zotero is free and has a fair amount of free online storage, 300MB, Mines subscribes to unlimited online storage.  All it takes to access this perk is signing in/up with your Mines email.
    1. In Zotero, go to Edit -> Preferences
    2. Under the “Sync” tab select “Create Account”

Screen capture of Zotero "Create Account" menu

    1. Fill out the form that opens in your browser, sign up with your Mines email to access unlimited storage and click “Register”.
    2. Back in Zotero, under the “Sync” tab fill in your username and password to link your Zotero account to the desktop application.

    1. If you already have a Zotero account under a non-Mines email, you can add your Mines email to your account for unlimited storage. Sign into Zotero in your browser, go to Settings -> Account and then add an email address as shown below.

Screen Capture of Zotero account page

  1. You should now be ready to use Zotero! If you have any problems, please reach out to Seth Vuletich ( and he will help you get up and running.