Skip to main content
UVM Libraries Research Guides banner

Zotero User's Guide: Adding to Your Library

Creating Your Library: Overview

Creating a library in Zotero is relatively easy and intuitive to do. This page details how to add materials to your Zotero library as your research and how to add items you may already have.

Add Items as You Research

To start adding items while you research open your Zotero program and your web browser (with the connector file installed).

Zotero will let you add items from the following sources directly as you search:

  • Library databases (Academic Search Premier, ERIC, Science Direct, etc.)
  • Electronic journals (Nature, American Historical Review, etc.)
  • Library Catalogs (CATQuest, UVM Classic Catalog, WorldCat, etc.)
  • Web sites (organizations, government agencies, newspaper sites, etc.)





As you search watch for the Zotero icons in the upper right corner of your browser. The icon will change based on the format of the item you are viewing. Click on the icon to add the item and any attached files/articles to your library.

The most common icons you will see are:

Article from Zotero Article from a magazine or journal
Book from Zotero Book 
Web site from Zotero Web site
Newspaper article from Zotero Newspaper article


When you are searching in library databases or search engines and are on a page that displays a list of results, you can choose to add one or more items from that page at the same time. 

Folder in Zotero Folder icon indicates more than one item on page can be added

To add items, click on icon and select desired items.

If you are working with materials that are not online you can add them manually to your Zotero library.

Go to you Zotero program and locate the Add Item icon in the toolbar along the top.

Add item from Zotero Add item manually

You can choose templates to add information about many types of materials including:

  • book selection (chapter)
  • interviews
  • emails
  • letters
  • podcasts


Zotero enables you to add items to your library by quickly customizing the bookmark features on your mobile device.

Bookmarklet options are available for:

  • iPad/iPhone
  • Chrome for Android
  • Android Browser
  • Firefox Mobile Browser
  • Opera Mobile

Add Zotero Bookmarklet now! (use your mobile device)

See the Zotero web site for more details on adding materials to you library:

Add Items You Already Have

If you already have research materials in your possession, either in print or electronically, you can add them to your Zotero library quickly with the help of a few special features.

If you have PDFs of articles from electronic journals on your computer you can quickly drag and drop these files into your Zotero library.  Zotero will automatically try to extract the citation information from the file.  To force Zotero to extract items manually, you can right-click on an item and select "Retrieve Metadata" from the menu.




ISBNs (international standard book numbers), DOIs (digital object identifiers), and PMIDs (Pubmed I.D.s) can all be used to add a citation to your library.  Simply use the "magic wand" icon in the top menu to add a citation with any of the standard numbers above.

If you already use Zotero to manage your references, you can set up Mendeley to continuously import any documents you add to Zotero. See this page for details on setting up Zotero integration with Mendeley Desktop.

If you currently use Endnote™ or RefWorks for reference management, you can easily import your library into Mendeley:

  • ‚ÄčExport your library from EndNote (.xml format) or RefWorks (.ris format) and name/save the file accordingly.
  • In Mendeley, import this file you just created:
    • Web: Click "+ Add" and select one of the following options:
      • Import EndNote (.xml)
      • Import RIS (.ris)
      • Import BibTeX (.bib)
    • Desktop: Go to File > Import and select one of the following options:
      • BibTeX (*.bib)
      • EndNote XML - EndNote v8, X1 to X3 (*.xml)
      • RIS - Research Information Systems (*.ris)
      • Zotero Library (zotero.sqlite)