Prep for Wednesday: Zotero

Prior to Wednesday’s class, please attempt to do the following:

  1. Download and install Zotero on your computer or flash drive (see below).
  2. Create an account at Zotero using your address.

If you’re able to bring your computer with you to class on Wednesday, you’ll find it helpful.

Downloading and installing Zotero:

(Click on any image below to see a larger version of it.)

Your installation process will differ a bit depending on what kind of computer you’re using.

  • If you’re using Windows or OS X:
    • Go to the Zotero home page, and click on the large “Download Now” button.Zotero home page
    • I recommend choosing Zotero Standalone, unless you use a Chromebook (see more on that below). Click on the download button, and use the downloaded file to install the program as you would any other (i.e., double-clicking on the .exe or .dmg file and following any resulting instructions).Zotero download and installationBe sure you also install the Zotero connector for the browser you use most often. Please note that Zotero will not work with Internet Explorer!
  • If you’re using Linux (here, too, be sure you install the Zotero connector for your favorite browser):You should be presented with a download link, and you can always download the installer file and double-click on it. I’ve generally found it faster and easier, however, to just open a terminal and run the following commands (this assumes you’re using Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, etc.):
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:smathot/cogscinl
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get install zotero-standalone
  • If you’re using a Chromebook:
    Chromebooks are solid, useful devices, especially when so much of our digital life is stored in the cloud, anyway. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to install software on a Chromebook, so you won’t be able to run Zotero on your own machine. Instead, you’ll need to do the following:

    • Acquire a flash drive. It needn’t be of particularly high capacity; 4 – 8 GB is just fine.
    • Go to one of the computer labs on campus and log on to one of the Windows computers.
    • Open a browser, and go to Portableapps.comPortableApps home page Click on “Apps” in the page’s top menu.
    • On the page that opens, scroll down to the “Internet” section, and find “Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition.” List of portable Internet apps Click the link to download the installer file, and make a note of where you save it.
    • Insert your flash drive into one of the computer’s USB ports. Make a note of what drive letter the computer assigns to it.
    • Find the installer file you downloaded, double-click it, and follow the instructions. When it asks where to install Firefox, direct it to the drive letter corresponding to your flash drive.
    • Open your flash drive, find the “FirefoxPortable” application, and double-click on it.
    • In FirefoxPortable, go to the Zotero download page.Download Zotero for FirefoxClick on the “Zotero 4.0 for Firefox” button. You may be asked whether you want to allow to install software on your computer. Yes, you do. You’re likely to get another warning telling you you should only install add-ons from trusted authors. is a trusted author, so go ahead and allow the installation. Restart Firefox when prompted to do so.
    • You should now see a large “Z” near the top of your Firefox toolbar. Zotero in Firefox Clicking on it will open the Zotero pane shown in this image.

Creating an account

Creating an account is simple. Just click the register link on Zotero’s home page, and follow the instructions.