Skip to Main Content


Reference managers are easy-to-use tools that can help you collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. This guide will explain how to install Zotero and Mendeley.

Zotero Preferences

Zotero "preferences" are found by dropping down "Zotero" or "Edit" on the menu bar.

Important Preferences

Preferences in Zotero are grouped into categories based on the functions you might perform.

  • Select "Automatically attach associated PDFs..." to have available full text downloaded with a citation.
  • Do not select "Automatically tag items..." if you do not want tags of keywords and subject headings added automatically.
  • Make sure all items are checked under Groups if you are using Groups.
  • Most people keep default settings in the File Sync section.
  • Check "Sync full-text content."
  • Only check "Sync Automatically" if you are working on your personal computer.  On a public computer it is recommended that you sync manually using the "sync" icon on the Zotero toolbar. 
  • Enter your account information when you sync.  This information will be saved automatically.  
  • Use default settings
  • Set the ability to search within PDFs by turning on indexing. Click "Search for installer” to install indexer.
Export    Change "Default Output Format" to your preference if you plan to use "quick copy."
  • Word Processors tab
    • If you have not installed the Microsoft Word Add-in, you can do it from this screen.
    • Select "Use classic Add Citation dialog" to use the classic screen rather than a search box when citing while writing.
  • Styles tab
    • "Get additional" citation styles.  9000+ available to download.
    • Select "Include URL's in paper articles references" if you need this.
Proxies    Automatic redirection through proxies.  Read documentation before using this feature.
Shortcuts    Change default shortcuts