Table of Contents  
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 303-305  

Zotero: A bibliographic assistant to researcher

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Clinical Pharmacy, King Faisal University, Al Ahsa, India

Date of Web Publication12-Oct-2011

Correspondence Address:
K K Mueen Ahmed
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Clinical Pharmacy, King Faisal University, Al Ahsa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-500X.85940

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How to cite this article:
Mueen Ahmed K K, Al Dhubaib BE. Zotero: A bibliographic assistant to researcher. J Pharmacol Pharmacother 2011;2:303-5

How to cite this URL:
Mueen Ahmed K K, Al Dhubaib BE. Zotero: A bibliographic assistant to researcher. J Pharmacol Pharmacother [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 May 14];2:303-5. Available from:


Common mistakes such as 'references are outdated', 'references not in the prescribed format', 'incomplete references' and 'volume and year are missing' pointed out by reviewers of many journals are not difficult to avoid. The citations are the backbone of any article. Supporting the content of a manuscript with proper references plays an important role in its acceptance. References also help us trace the origin of a study or its methods being adopted. Hence, the accuracy of references in the manuscripts being submitted to journals is an important issue and it contributes to the quality of article. Though, there are plenty of software packages available for managing bibliographies, [1],[2],[3] they are often unaffordable by a student researcher. Hence, alternate free open access software is the need of time. In this article, a free inbuilt Firefox plugin exclusively for managing citations is discussed and recommended as it works similar to Endnote or other bibliographic managers. We describe a free Firefox [4] plugin "Zotero" [5],[6] which does almost everything which a paid bibliography manager does. It is available freely and could be easily downloaded from;

Zotero acts as a personal research assistant within the Firefox browser. Many interesting features are available, such as automatic capture of citation information from web pages, storage of portable document format (PDF), files, images, links, and whole web pages, including saved searches and tag them for better understanding and identification.

Zotero is powered with different formatted citation export options with many publishers and journal styles integrated in it. Updated version is also available which integrates with MS Word or by using a simple word plugin (could be downloaded from"> a detailed explanation is available at this link: = aMkccKZ0Hio and feature = player_embedded#at = 51 .

In addition to this, Zotero synchronizes and back up saved research library to its website A user account could be easily created to get connected and save it online. With this account one can create and share public or private research groups to collaborate with other Zotero users.

Many journals are now published with DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) assigned with Crossref and PMID (PubMed Identification numbers) for PubMed indexed journals. The citations can be directly imported into Zotero database using DOI, PMID or ISBN (in case of books). DOIs are basically alphanumeric strings assigned to digital objects. Each DOI is unique and, once assigned to an item, remains a constant locator, not changing even as object moves from URL to URL. [7] Zotero can capture citations from other websites like PubMed, Google scholar,, or web page of a journal, which has DOI, PMID, ISBN displayed in it. Further, it retrieves the citation information directly from Crossref or PubMed database. As an example, we have demonstrated the utilization of Zotero in retrieving citations from Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics website. We have chosen Jan-Mar, 2011 issue for this purpose by using snipping tool for better understanding [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5] and [Figure 6].
Figure 1: Install Firefox plugin: refox/addon/zotero/, Visit journal page and identify contents having DOI

Click here to view
Figure 2: Click blue/folder icon in address bar to capture the citations

Click here to view
Figure 3: Select one or multiple citations to save zotero

Click here to view
Figure 4: Zotero panel for organizing citations in a specifi ed folder

Click here to view
Figure 5: Select one or multiple citations to export or create bibliography

Click here to view
Figure 6: Select the required output of citation and generate citations
in seconds. Note: Zotero repository has specifi c citation styles for many
journals, visit

Click here to view

Zotero resources

   References Top

1.Nicoll LH, Ouellette TH, Bird DC, Harper J, Kelley J. Bibliography database managers. A comparative review. Comput Nurs 1996;14:45-56.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Reiss M, Reiss G, Pausch NC. [Reference manager EndNote 4. Further development and new functions]. Radiologe 2001;41:511-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Hull D, Pettifer SR, Kell DB. Defrosting the digital library: Bibliographic tools for the next generation web. PLoS Comput Biol 2008;4: e1000204.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Mozilla Firefox Website [homepage on the internet]. Available from: [Last cited on 2011 Jun 4].  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Addons (Mozilla firefox). Available from: [Last cited on 2011 Jun 4].  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Zotero (homepage). Available from: [Last cited on 2011 Jun 4].  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Mueen Ahmed KK. Citing Phcog Mag. articles made easy. Phcog Mag 2011;7:89-91. Available from: [Last cited on 2011 Jun 4].  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]

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