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Use Zotero to manage your references and create in-text citations and bibliographies.

What is Zotero?

Zotero is an easy-to-use free reference management tool. It can be used to: 

  • collect and organise your research sources as you browse the web 
  • store all your references in one location 
  • sync your reference library across multiple devices 
  • create citations in thousands of reference styles in Word and Google Docs 
  • easily collaborate and share your library of resources. 

Zotero comes with 300 MB of free storage. Additional storage can be purchased from the Zotero storage webpage. 

Library staff at ACU provide limited help for Zotero users. For additional support, please search Zotero Support.

Which reference management tool is best for me?

Use this table to compare some key features of EndNote Desktop, Mendeley Reference Manager, and Zotero.

Feature EndNote Desktop Mendeley Reference Manager Zotero
Ease of use Harder to learn initially Easy to use Easy to use
Cost Free for ACU staff and students Free Free (up to 300 MB)
Storage capabilities Unlimited

Free account: 2GB

ACU Institutional Edition: 100GB

300 MB (users can pay for extra storage beyond 300 MB)
Software support

ACU Library supports EndNote (guide, webinars and consultations)

EndNote website provides online training materials

ACU Library guide

Mendeley website provides online training materials

ACU Library guide

Zotero website provides online training materials

Word processor compatibility

Microsoft Word

Apache OpenOffice

Apple Pages


Google Docs

Microsoft Word




Microsoft Word




Google Docs

Number of reference styles Over 6,000 styles Over 10,000 styles via the Citation Style Language (CSL) repository Over 8,000 styles via the Style Repository
Operating system compatibility Windows, Mac Windows, Mac OS X or later, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux

Cloud storage and syncing via EndNote Web

Register for an account

Cloud storage and syncing available

Register for an account

Cloud storage and syncing available

Register for an account


Premium product

Advanced features

Easily customised

Easy to edit reference styles

Supported by ACU

Easy to use

Collaborative, social networking functionality

Easy to use

Great for importing records from non-traditional sources such as websites

Best suited to Users comfortable with reference management systems

Undergraduates who have never used a reference management system

Researchers sharing papers and networking

Undergraduates who have never used a reference management system

Table last updated September 2023. 

Install Zotero

There are three steps to installing Zotero.

Step one

Download Zotero and follow the prompts for installation. 

Step two

Get the Zotero Connector for your browser.

The Zotero Connector (plug-in extension) allows you to collect references from databases and webpages with a single click. Connectors are available for Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari.   

Step three

Create a Zotero online account.

An account will allow you to: 

  • back up your library in the cloud
  • sync and access your library from multiple devices
  • share and network with other Zotero users.

There are two ways to create a Zotero online account. 

  1. Open Zotero. Go to Edit ⇨ Preferences ⇨ Sync ⇨ Create account. You will need to validate the account via your email address.
  2. Register for an account first, then go to Zotero ⇨ Edit ⇨ Preferences ⇨ Sync. Sign in with your credentials.  

Add additional reference styles 

Zotero comes with several popular citation styles pre-installed. However, you may need to install additional styles via the Zotero Style Repository. Information about installing additional styles can be found at Zotero: Citation Styles

How to use Zotero

For guidance on using Zotero, see:


Use the Zotero Forums

The library provides limited Zotero support. Contact us to see if we can help.

Guide last reviewed: 7 November 2022