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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.

Running Zotero from a USB

Portable Zotero

One option for using Zotero on multiple computers, including library computers, is to install and run Zotero from a USB.

  1. Follow the instructions for installing portable Zotero..
  2. Copy your Zotero library from your computer to your USB drive.
    1. Open Zotero on your computer.
    2. Click the gear button. 
    3. Select Export Library.
    4. Save your library to a file on your computer.
    5. Run Portable Zotero from your USB drive.
    6. Click the gear button and Import the file you just saved.


    If you sync your library on your USB and desktop to, both will be kept up-to-date and you will not need to do this initial import.


Now use Portable Firefox on you USB as your browser when working on a library computer.

Using Zotero on a Lab Computer

You can use the sync feature of Zotero to use your personal Zotero library on multiple computers, including a library computer.

  1. Go into Zotero preferences, select the "sync" tab, and add your login and password.
  2. You can either select "sync automatically" or periodically click the sync icon  on top right in the Zotero application. 
  3. Remember to remove your credentials from the preferences when you are done.