Billed as “A Personal Research Assistant”, “Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Whether you're searching for a preprint on arXiv.org, a journal article from JSTOR, a news story from the New York Times, or a book from your university library catalog, Zotero has you covered with support for thousands of sites.” (Center for History and New Media, 2013)
Zotero is an “Add-On” plug-in/extension for the Firefox web browser that lets you create your personal article library. To get started with Zotero, visit zotero.org, click on the download button, and select the version of Zotero you wish to install. You will be required to set up a login with an email and password.
Zotero runs in its own pane within Firefox, separately from web pages. To start automatic saving, click on the “Sync with Zotero Server” icon on the right corner of the Zotero pane and log in.
There are many ways to add items to your Zotero library. For instance, when using EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier database, you can easily drop articles into Zotero by using the “Export” tool in the right side column. Zotero also lets you add items automatically by entering the item’s ISBN number, Digital Object Identifier (DOI), or PubMed ID. Zotero will save not just your citation information, but also the PDF full text, if available, into your Zotero library in the cloud.
To use your Zotero information within a Microsoft Word document, download Zotero's Microsoft Word plug-in. This permits you to place a citation in your paper using the style of your choice. To find the icon for this plug-in, choose “Add-Ins” in MS Word’s top toolbar, click on the left-most icon named “Zotero Bibliographic Management : Zotero Insert Citation,” then use the resulting pop-up box to search one’s Zotero content for the proper citation.
I found it on the web – how do I document it in my bibliography? Zotero will not automatically make your web content scholarly for you. However, it will help you to describe it for your bibliography. For instance, Zotero’s default item type is called “Web Page”, which results when you click the button labelled “Create Web Page Item from Current Page.”
Zotero may also be used as a standalone application for Windows, Mac, or Linux, that plugs into either the Google Chrome or Apple Safari web browser.