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Citation Management Tools

This guide will help you learn how to use Endnote and Zotero, two citation management tools that can help you keep your sources organized and generate citations.

Organizing References

Zotero allows you to organize your references into Collections. Collections are groups of items on a particular topic, such as all your research for a project or paper. Individual items can be added to multiple Collections. To start a new collection, click the "New Collection" button in the top left corner of Zotero. 

Type in a title for the Collection and click OK.

The Collection will appear underneath "My Library."


You can also create Subcollections within your main Collections. To create a Subcollection, right-click on a Collection, and select New Subcollection.

Enter a title, click OK, and the Subcollection will appear underneath the original Collection.

Adding items

To add items to either a Collection or Subcollection, drag the item into the Collection folder.

You can also save items to a folder while using the Zotero Connector. Simply select the folder you want to add the item to (in Zotero) before clicking on the Zotero icon in the toolbar.



Tags (or keywords) can be assigned to items to help with organization and to quickly find items. You can view all tags assigned to items in the current folder in the bottom-left corner of Zotero.

To view all tags in your Library, click the color boxes icon underneath the current tags and select Display All Tags in This Library.

Adding tags

To add a tag to an item, select the item in Zotero and click the Tags tab.

Click the Add button, type in the name of the new tag, and press the  Enter/Return key.

Colored tags

Up to 9 tags in your library can be assigned a color for easy visibility of important tag topics. To assign a color, right-click on a tag and select Assign Color...

Click on the grey box next to "Color," select a color, and click SET COLOR.

The assigned tag will now be in the color selected. A box in the corresponding color will also appear next to the items with the assigned tag.

Notes can be added to your Zotero library, either as standalone notes, or attached to individual items as child notes.

Child notes

To add a child note, first select an item you would like to attach it to, then click on the New Note button.

Select Add Child Note.

Start typing and the new note, visible underneath the parent item, will be saved as you type in a new window.

Standalone notes

To create a standalone note, do not select any items. Simply click the New Note button and select New Standalone Note

Start typing and the note will appear in your library as an individual item.