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An overview for installing, setting up, and using the bibliographic manager Zotero. Based on guide created by Jason Puckett and licensed by Georgia State University Library at

RIS File

If for any reason that you find that the browser connector isn't working, you can always download a citation manually.

To do this, you need to find the option to save an RIS file format of the citation. This is often under an option for "Export," "Save Citation," or "Download Citation" and gives you a variety of options for saving the citation file. The option that Zotero needs is the "RIS" format.

Once the RIS file is downloaded, you'll need to open the file to import it to Zotero. It's often useful to already have the Zotero App open in order to do these step seamlessly. Zotero will automatically recognize the file and ask if you want to import it into your Library. Select yes and it will automatically appear in your Zotero Library.

The tutorial below will walk you through these steps with screenshots of each step to demonstrate how this process is completed.

The second tutorial outlines the process to Export an RIS file using Google Scholar.

RIS File with Google Scholar

You can also set up your Google Scholar account to automatically let you export the RIS files for papers you're interested in. To do this, you need to go into your 'Settings," located in the stack icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen in your Google Scholar. 

A screenshot of Google Scholar with the toolbar in the upper left-hand corner of the screen selected so that the options for "Settings" is highlighted.

Once you select "Settings," the last section on the page will be "Bibliography manager" and you'll need to select the option for "Show links to import stations into" and then select EndNote before clicking "Save."

Screenshot of the Bibliography Manager section of the Google Scholar Settings.

It doesn't matter that you're using Zotero instead of Endnote! All this option does is add a link to the RIS format for the item using a link "Import into EndNote"

Screenshot of Google Scholar with "Import to Endnote" link highlighted for each citation.

If you select the "Import into EndNote" hyperlink, Zotero will automatically open in response to downloading the RIS file format and ask if you want to import the item. 

Screenshot of Zotero Connector asking to import RIS file format from Google Scholar.