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How to Insert Citations into a Word Document using Zotero

In this blog post, we will show you how to insert citations into a word document using Zotero reference  management software. Besides, we will also demonstrate on how to insert and edit in-text citations into a word document. 

Arranging citations in a word document is monotonous work for a researcher. Manually entering each citation in proper way is a difficult task. In order to solve the matter, Zotero-your personal research assistant plays a pivotal role. 

Zotero is free and easy-to-use robust reference management tool that lets you collect, arrange, cite and share research.

This software can create references for any standard text editor at once. It also works with MS-Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs. At the time of this writing, this tool supports over 9,000 citation styles.

How to Insert Citations into a Document in Microsoft Word using Zotero

Let’s get started.

To get started with the Zotero- your personal research assistant, you follow the below steps:

Step #1:   Download and Install Zotero Standalone Application

Here is how you get started.

First, navigate to the Zotero website to download the Zotero standalone application on your local machine. This standalone application includes the word plug-in. 

Once you open the website, you will be taken to the following page and see on the homepage a download button:

 

Zotero Home page
Zotero Homepage

 

Now, you click on the download button, the following page will appear:

Zotero download
Zotero Download Page

 

To insert citations from Zotero into a Microsoft Word document, you download Zotero 5.0 for Windows as we have selected  Windows operating system. It is also available for Mac and Linux operating systems. Once you download the software, it will store on the hard-disk of your local computer.

First, we install Zotero standalone application and then we will show you how to include the Zotero Connector plugin later. 

After completing the Zotero installation, you should see the Zotero toolbar in Microsoft Word  document.

Here is the snapshot of the Zotero tab in the MS Word:

 

Zotero tab in word document
MS Word with Zotero

 

Now, you open a word document and click on the “Zotero” tab, the following Zotero interface will appear:

 

Zotero interface
Zotero interface in word

 

Step #2:  Download and Install Zotero Connector Extension

In order to include the papers online into Zotero library, we will install the Zotero Connector plugin in google chrome. It lets you save the contents to Zotero My Library from your browser. You can also use Firefox, Safari to do the same work properly.

At the outset, you open the site for installing the Zotero Connector plugin for the chrome browser. 

Here is a snapshot of the Zotero Connector installation window:

Zotero Connector Plugin
Zotero Connector for Chrome Browser

 

In order to integrate the Zotero connector, we open the following plugin:

 

Zotero Connector Plugin

 

To install Zotero Connector, you click on the “Add to Chrome” button. Once you click the button, you will see the below interface:

 

Zotero Connector
Add Zotero Connector Plugin

 

Zotero Connector can sense scholarly materials automatically while you browse the web. It lets you save the resources to Zotero My Library with a single click.

For example, we open the Google Scholar for searching the scholarly articles on “Open Educational Resources”. In our previous blog post, Google Scholar is discussed elaborately.

After obtaining the results page, you open the Zotero Connector Extension from the upper right corner of your browser.  You should see the page:

 

Zotero extension with google Scholar
Google Scholar’s Result with Zotero Extension

 

We just select the research papers from the sub-window to save it to the My Library in Zotero standalone application as you see in the above snapshot. 

 

save to mylibrary in Zotero
Papers Save to MyLibrary

 

Once the process of importing is completed, you will see the following Zotero application interface:

 

My library in Zotero
My Library in Zotero

 

Step #3: Open Zotero Standalone Application and Zotero Connector Plugin Both

 

All you need to do is open a new Microsoft word document and Zotero desktop application both for inserting the citations into a word document automatically.

First, we open the following Microsoft word document and want to insert citation in the document.

There are two methods to insert your citations in a word document:

1) Enter a keyword, title or author name in the search box.

2) Using Classic View from the Zotero Bar

Method #1

Inserting Citations into a Word Document Using Zotero

You just place the cursor in the word document where you want to insert the citation.

Once you place the cursor in the document then click on “Add/Edit Citation” button to add the citation.

You will be asked to select the referencing style. In our case, we select the “American Psychological Association (APA) 7th Edition”.

 

APA 7th Edition
American Psychological Association (APA) 7th Edition

 

After selecting the referencing style, you click on “OK” button, you will see the following Zotero search bar in the word document.

 

Word Document with Zotero Bar

 

This search bar lets you search your Zotero library by author, title, keyword etc. You just search and select the citation you want to insert in your research article.

Here, we will search scholarly articles for “Open Educational Resources”.  As soon as you type in real time, the results will display below from your library.

Here is the snapshot of the library:

 

Results from My Library
Results from My Library

 

Once you have made your selection, click on the citation in the search box. 

 To insert this citation in the text you simply click the enter key. Now you will see the citation has been included.

In order to include multiple papers you simply press the space and you can search for another paper and so on.

 

Method #2

How to Insert Citations into a Word Document using Zotero Bar (Classic View)

 

In order to change the view to the Classic view, you just  click on the Zotero logo with the little arrow. You will see the following graphical user interface:

 

Classic View Citation
Inserting Citation Using Zotero Classic View

 

From the above window, you select the research paper(s) to add into the word document. If you want to insert multiple citations through the Classic view, you just click on the multiple sources button.

 

Multiple Sources
Multiple Sources Citation

 

 Once you click on the “Multiple Sources” button, you should see the image below:

 

select multiple research papers
Select Multiple Sources

 

Now you select the paper from left side and click on right arrow to add the right side and click on “OK” to add multiple papers.

 

How to Edit Citations in a Word Document Using Zotero

If you want to edit citation(s), you can do it through Zotero bar. If we want to remove just one of these papers, again you click back on the  “Add/Edit citation” button, you can just delete as per your requirement.

In addition to above, you can also add page number and other relevant information using the Zotero search bar. The search box lets you insert page numbers and other relevant information to the citation.

Suppose you want to edit the citation (e.g in-text citation) within your word document. All you need to do is open the “Add/Edit Citation” button. You will see the Zotero bar box with paper citation. To open the edit box you click on the citation (In our case Butcher,2015).

 

Zotero Bar
Editing In-text Citation

 

In this article, we discussed elaborately about how to insert citations into a Microsoft Word document using Zotero standalone application and Zotero connector Extension.

We hope this post was helpful and gave you some ideas on how to insert citations into a Microsoft Word document using Zotero .

Let me know in the comment box if you have any feedback.

Dr. Ujjal Marjit, PhDhttps://researcherssite.com
Dr. Ujjal Marjit leads the Centre for Information Resource Management of the University of Kalyani, India. He received his bachelor honours degree from Visva Bharati, Central University and Master in Computer Application from Jadavpur University, India.He did his BLISc and MLISc from Madurai Kamraj University, India. He obtained his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Kalyani. He was also a visiting researcher at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway. Dr. Marjit was a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), USA. He has coauthored several book chapters and over 70 research publications in various International Journals and Conferences. Dr. Marjit attended many national and international conferences in India and abroad ( Germany, London, Finland, Norway, Netherlands). He has been working in University since 2001.

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