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Research Introduction

With the challenges presented by the Fall 2020 semester and the increased dependence on the UVA Library's online resources, this guide is intended to walk you through the basics of access to our online databases as well as tips and tricks for honing your

Uh, what if I just need one citation really quickly?

Use ZoteroBib! 

You can cite by URL or DOI, even do manual entry if that's your jam, and ZoteroBib will create your bibliography for you. 

It can even save a copy of the bibliography that you create using your browser's local storage and you can create a link to your bibliography to share across devices or groups. 

What is Zotero?

A index card outlining five utilities that Zotero offers that support a search process: saving research, being organized, easy to find files, storing everything in one place, and not having to write citations.


If there is only one tool that you could use to save yourself time, worry, and release you from the nightmare that is writing citations, I would recommend Zotero. 

I know that adding something that you have to download and use can feel like a lot to ask. It really only takes a small amount of time to set up and, depending on how familiar you are with APA, there is a learning curve for ensuring that you get a perfect citation with it. But the bonus of using it are so, so good. 

Anything you find - an article on a database, a website, a book on amazon, a patent, literally ANYTHING can be saved through Zotero.

  • It saves the URL so you can always get back to where you originally found it
  • If there's a PDF it will automatically download and save it for you (and that PDF is saved in Zotero attached to the record for the item so there's no digging through your downloads folder or where you might have saved it to try to find it!) 
  • It will download as much citation information as it can access - for most article that's everything AND the abstract
  • It lets you create folders and subfolders if you like that sort of thing
  • It lets you keyword search in everything you've saved if you instead prefer to work with a giant list of stuff!
  • Add-ons! You can add it to other programs - Word or whatever word processor you like to use, even LaTeX or EndNote! 

Learning Zotero

A screenshot of the landing page of the "Getting Started with Zotero" tutorial including a link to the tutorial itself.


Whether you're starting from scratch or need a bit of help with using Zotero, this fantastic interactive tutorial will walk you through everything you need to know