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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

Item Record Basics

One of the advantages of using Zotero is that it can help you organization all your research neatly. 

For each item that you add to Zotero, you should* have an:

  • Item Record - this includes the available metadata for that item. This information is what Zotero uses to create a citation for the item including title, author, source, URL, abstract, and more. 

Nested underneath the Item Record will be a host of options. The most common are:

  • File Link - often a PDF that can be automatically downloaded with the bibliographic information
  • Snapshot (or screenshot) of the webpage - if you'd like to have it, you can turn this off if it's not helpful. 

And you have the option to add a variety of additional information about the Item including:

  • Notes - a basic text tool to record any notes about that item and will appear attached to the specific Item Record
  • Tags - for adding additional searching functionality for Items across folders
  • Related - for creating relationships between different items. 

Editing an Item Record