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Reference Management Software

This Libguide helps you get started with using reference management software.

What is Zotero?

The reference management tool Zotero is an open source tool used for managing references. Zotero is compatible with the operating systems Windows, macOS, iOS and Linux and the word processors Word, LibreOffice and Google Docs. 

  • Zotero has free storage up to 300 MB
  • Zotero is easy to use and can also be used on mobile devices (iOS och Android)


Get started with Zotero

1. Create an account

Create an account at You can choose any email address, it doesn't have to be your Hanken-email. Use a unique password.

2. Download and install

Download and install Zotero 6 and the extension Zotero Connector to your browser.

3. Log in

Open Zotero and log in to your user account.

Click on Edit -> Preferences -> Sync -> Fill in your username and password.

Note! If you prefer not to use the synchronization in Zotero, you don't need to create an account and log in. In that case you can use Zotero offline and your references will be stored only locally on your computer. An account in Zotero is however needed if you want to access your references from other devices and share references with others.

Import references to Zotero

Zotero Connector

The Zotero Connector is a browser extension helping you import references efficiently from any website you are visiting.

  • Open your Zotero account
  • Find your reference, for exemple from
  • Click on the Extension panel in your browser and choose Zotero Connector. Then choose the right folder (se image below)


  • Finally, make sure all details in your reference are correct. Edit the metadata of your reference in Zotero if needed (se image below)


Save references manually

If you have material not found online in databases you can save references manually.

  • Choose “File”, and "New item". Choose type of material from the menu and fill in the details to the right (see example below)


Save PDF-files

You can save PDF-files in Zotero by using the drag and drop-function, i.e. dragging files from your desktop for example to Zotero.

Import RIS or BibTex-filer

In databases there are often an "Export"-button which helps you move references to a reference management software. If Zotero is not mentioned in the Export-function, you can choose to export the reference as RIS or BibTex-file. 

  • First save the reference on your computer in .bib or .ris format
  • Import the file when being logged in to Zotero via File - Import 
  • Edit the reference when needed

This alternative is also useful when exporting references from another reference management software to your Zotero-account (in that case choose Mendeley Reference Manager (online import) in the menu).


Organize References

This tutorial from Carnegie Mellon University Libraries guides you in how to organize your Zotero library:

Insert Citations and Create a Bibliography

This tutorial from Carnegie Mellon University Libraries teaches you how to insert citations and create a bibliography in Zotero:

Create Groups in Zotero

Share your references with others in Zotero by creating groups. The tutorial from Carnegie Mellon University Libraries shows you how.