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RefWorks and Other Citation Management Tools

Citation Management Program Help Guides & Tutorials on RefWorks and EndNote


Zotero is a free citation manager that you can download from the internet.

It works with most web browsers, and both mac and pc's. It helps organize your citations, creates bibliographies, and works with Microsoft Word for in-text citations.

To get started, register for an account online. From there, you can the download program Zotero for your OS (Windows, macOS, or Linux), and an add-on for your browser (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari).
*Please note: If you are using your UIC Google account, you won't be able to add the connector to your browser. To do so, you should log into your personal Google account.* 

Installing Zotero

Video used by permission by Jason Puckett at Georgia State University.

Zotero Basics

With your free account, you receive 300 MB of storage. (There are paid plans if you need more storage.)

Zotero's interface is organized into three columns. The first column contains folders, so you can organize your citations. The second column includes all of the citations in your library or folder, and the third column includes the specific citation information of whatever citation you have highlighted:

Zotero interface

This tutorial was created for health science students, but the information applies for anyone who uses Zotero.

Importing Citations

With Zotero, you can import citations with the click of a button. Zotero will automatically find bibliographic information on web pages you visit. For example, if you are reading a journal article online, Zotero's save button will change to the icon of a journal icon: 

Zotero browser connector journal icon




When you click the icon, Zotero will save all of the available bibliographic information about that item to your library. In this case, Zotero will create a new “Journal Article” item with the item's bibliographic information (authors, title, date, journal title, etc.).

The icon on the Zotero save button will change based on the type of item on the page. For example, if you are browsing the library's catalog, the icon will be a book:




If there are multiple items on a page, the icon will be a folder. Once you click the folder icon, the Zotero Item Selector will appear, and you can click on the items you want to import:

Working with Zotero

You can use Zotero to create in-text citations or footnotes and to create bibliographies. To work with Zotero in Word, be sure to download the Word add-on. You can find it under, "Tools" and then "Add ons".

How to Get Full Text Articles Through Zotero

Zotero's "Library Lookup" feature is not 100% accurate.  You may have to look for the PDF on the library website and attach the PDFs to that citation. Articles that are not available as PDFs on the library website may be requested for free through an Illiad or Interlibrary Loan account.

Since UIC Library switched to a new catalog, the former full text article link will not work anymore.  A new finding full text article link for the catalog is not available at this time.

It is possible to configure Zotero to link to full-text available through UIC.   

  1. Go to Edit and select Preferences.  Click on Advanced
  2. In the OpenURL section of this menu, copy & paste the Library's OpenURL resolver:

  3. Click the OK button.

Once the OpenURL link is set up, you can use the Library Lookup tool to check for full text in the UIC Library for any of the resources you've added to your Zotero library. To check if an item is available full-text at UIC, do the following in Zotero: 

  1. Click to highlight the imported reference you want to check for full-text access in the center column of Zotero.

    Zotero Library Lookup step 1

  2. Next, in the righthand column where you see the citation and the "Info", "Notes", "Tags", "Related" menus, click on the green arrow at the top.  Then select Library Lookup. This will bring up a library webpage linking to the full-text, if available.

    Zotero Library Lookup step 2