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Zotero is free, easy to use software that helps you save, manage, and cite research sources.

Troubleshooting Zotero

Having a problem setting up or using Zotero? One of these troubleshooting tips may solve your problem! If not, feel free to contact a librarian for help.

PROBLEM: My Zotero citation tools do not display in Microsoft Word.

SOLUTION: Microsoft Word may have been open during installation of the Zotero Word plugin. Save your documents and quit Word. Now, reopen Word. Your Zotero toolbar should appear. If not, try reinstalling the Zotero Word plugin with Microsoft Word closed, then reopen Word.

PROBLEM: My Zotero toolbar disappeared in Word. I’m using my Mac.

SOLUTION: In Office for Mac 2011, Zotero’s Word toolbar may be seen as a floating toolbar. To reopen the Zotero toolbar, select View from the top horizontal toolbar in Word. Then, choose Toolbars Zotero Bibliographic Management. You should once again see your Zotero floating toolbar.

PROBLEM: I cannot grab data from a database using Zotero’s browser connector.

SOLUTION: Zotero's browser connectors sometimes experience problems grabbing data from a particular database. These problems are usually resolved fairly quickly, but in those instances, there are reliable temporary workarounds. First, see if the item is available in a different database (for example, Google Scholar), or see if the database works in a different browser. Alternatively, instead of grabbing your citations using the browser connector, look for a way to download your citation as an RIS file, which can then be uploaded to your Zotero client. 

As an example, here is how to download an RIS file from JSTOR:

  • Select an article you are interested in from your list of search results. The individual article record should look something like this:
    jstor export citation 1
  • Click Cite this Item, then Export Citation. 
  • Select RIS File.
  • The RIS file should automatically save to your Downloads folder.
  • Open the downloaded RIS file from your Downloads folder. If Zotero is open, it should recognize the file and prompt you to import the citation.
  • Your desired citation should now appear in your Zotero library.

Zotero Guide

Kyle Denlinger's picture
Kyle Denlinger
302 ZSR Library
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