The Best Citation Management Tool: Zotero a Full Review

Creating citations for all your sources can be a hassle, especially when you have multiple research papers to cite for different classes and they all require a different style (ie. AAA, Chicago, MLA, etc.). This is why citation management tools are so useful. Beyond just EasyBib, there are many citation tools out there that can be useful depending on what citation style you are using, how efficient the citation manager is, etc. My favorite citation manager tool is Zotero, therefore I will be reviewing some of the features and how/why I think it can be very helpful for your next paper!

Zotero is a multi-use reference management software that automatically cites your sources for you, including PDF’s, websites, books, journal articles, and more! It is a free, open source software that can either be used as the standard version, or the standalone version. The main difference is that the standard version only works on Fire Fox while, the standalone version can be downloaded onto your desktop and you have the option of using it through Google Chrome and Safari (which then gives you the added ability to use it in a PC or a Mac).

To use Zotero, first you need to download it onto your desktop, it is free. Once downloaded and installed, it will automatically be linked to your web browser. To save sources all you have to do is click on the icon (depending on the kind of source, the icon may vary, ie. if it is a book, it will be a book icon) on the top right hand side of your web browser and it will be saved to your library. Once you have all the sources needed to create a bibliography all you have to do is right click on the correct folder and click create bibliography from collection, it will give you the option to chose your prefered style, once you choose the style it will copy the bibliography, and it can be pasted onto your word document.

A very important feature that Zotero offers is that it automatically connects to Word, which allows you to create footnotes and, even in-text citations. The bibliographies are always accurate, and the footnotes as well. In my experience, what I have the most trouble with is creating footnotes, but once you get the hang of it, it is not so hard!

In comparison to other tools, like EasyBib for example, Zotero is much more useful. The reason for this is because EasyBib is an online website, it is much more limited in the kinds of citations I can make. Zotero can cite in any style and it is automatically linked to both your browser and your word, making citations a lot more efficient. When using EasyBib you often have to manually enter the citation, and it can only be used for generating a bibliography, it does not include features that would facilitate, in-text citation or footnotes.

Overall, I would highly recommend Zotero to everyone! It’s free, easy to use and has features that make citing sources a lot faster and easier. I think the best thing would be to check out the Zotero website to see all the features available and get detailed instructions on how to it step-by-step.