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Zotero is an open-source reference management software, which manages bibliographic data and research materials.  Other features include in-text citation generation, online syncing and web browser integration. It’s compatible with the processors Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, Writer and NeoOffice. Using the Zotfile plugin you are able to sync PDFs to a mobile PDF reader. Installing the Zotero Connector, gives you the ability to save every book, product and even any website you visit and sync the data with your Zotero Desktop application.

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Video Tutorial

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Source: Hochschule München

Reference Plugin

Zotero also has a feature for Word and LibreOffice. It works perfectly with the Zotero Desktop App. It helps you create your references. It allows you to generate your citations or your bibliographies in a few seconds. The feature uses the data, which you have saved in your Zotero application through the Zotero Connector. There are also a huge selection of different publisher styles (citation) pre-installed, so you can change the style immediately at wish.

1. After installing the Zotero Desktop Application, the feature should be available

The installation was only successful when a new line in the paper role icon called “Zotero” appears

2. Just click “Add citation” and a new panel will pop up in which you can search for your saved texts.

3. Click enter and the citation will be generated

4. If you want to add a bibliography click “Add Bibliography”

5. Automatically the plugin will generate a bibliography with your used works

Zotero and BibTex

This method is best if you want to have Zotero autosync with your .bib file as you add or change records in your Zotero library.

1. Install and enable the “Better BibTeX” add-on in Zotero. Full instructions for downloading and installing this add-on can be found here:
• Note, in some cases, you may need to update your Zotero version before Better BibTeX can be enabled. To update your Zotero desktop, go to Help -> Check for Updates

2. Once Better BibTeX is enabled, select the folder/library/items you wish to include in your .bib file.

3. In the export window, you will now see many more options for your export format.

  • Select the “Better BibTeX” option
  • To set up the autosync, make sure you also check the “Keep updated” box.
  • Click “Ok”, name your .bib file and save in the same location as your LaTeX file.

4. You can adjust or remove a .bib autosync of Zotero records at any time.

  • On a mac, go to Zotero ->Preferences; On a PC, go to Tools -> Preferences
  •  Click on the “Better BibTeX” tab and then the “Automatic Export” tab. All of your current autosyncs should be listed in the box.
  • To have your .bib file continuously autosync, make sure the “On Change” option is checked.
  • To force a sync of your exports (outside of any changes in your library), click “Export” at the bottom of this screen.
  • If you want to remove autosyncs, click “Remove”

Tip: You can make adjustments to how Better BibTeX generates your .bib file. In particular, you may want to consider adjusting how it handles potential duplicate BibTeX keys (the unique ID that you include in your \cite{key} entry in your LaTeX file). You can make these changes in the “Citation” tab of the “Better BibTeX” preferences window.

Christine Malinowski | MIT Libraries

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