Skip to Main Content

Zotero for Citation Management

Quick tips and helpful links for getting started with the open source citation manager, Zotero. Easily collect and organize your references, and generate dynamic citations and bibliographies as you write.

Common problems

Zotero has very robust documentation and active forums where users can help resolve most problems. I have listed some common issues and solutions here; if your problem is not on this page, or the solutions listed here do not work, try the Zotero forums.

Problems saving to Zotero

If the Zotero connector for your browser is not working, try the following:

  • Deactivate other citation manager browser extensions you may have installed
  • Remove the connector extension, restart your browser, and reinstall the extension
  • Update and restart your browser
  • Remove all Zotero software and start your install over from scratch

If this all fails, the problem will likely need to be reported to Zotero. For instructions on how to do this, refer to number 14 at the link below.


Zotero can automatically detect proxies and other authentication systems used to access information. It can also save proxies and automatically route links through them when using Zotero.

This is not recommended. Much like trying to access ISU library resources while using the university VPN, using Zotero's stored proxy information can cause numerous access problems. Make sure to let the librarian know you are using Zotero if you report an access problem.

If you had previously set up Zotero to connect with ISU's proxy and are now unable to access library resources, try disabling the proxy connection in your Zotero preferences.

Hidden Preferences

Some settings in Zotero are hidden, but can still be modified. For example, if you keep losing the Zotero Word popup when trying to add references to a document, there is a hidden setting to toggle this window to always appear on top.

Importing from Mendeley

Zotero can directly import from an online Mendeley library. It's not possible to import from a local Mendeley installation on your computer. Use the link below for more information on importing references from Mendeley, including ways to get around the encryption problem.

Profile Photo
Dan Coffey
152 Parks Library