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Zotero for Desktop is a local program that stores your data on your own computer, and it can be used without sharing any data with us — you don’t even need to create an account to use it. It is designed to be a powerful, flexible tool that can accommodate nearly any workflow, but no tool can be perfect for everyone.
As an open-source tool, The program is free in two senses of the word: you don’t need to pay to use it, and you’re free to make changes to its code to make it do what you want. The benefits of the first ones are obvious, but the second is critical for a program you’re entrusting with your research data. It has always guaranteed users complete access to their own data, but open source means you don’t need to take a word for it.
The best policies wouldn’t matter if Zotero weren’t also a powerful, professional tool. It has an unmatched ability to save high-quality publication data from websites, journal articles, newspapers, and more, or to retrieve publication data for PDFs you drag in. Word processor integration for Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs makes it easy to manage citations as you write.
It can automatically add publication data by DOI or ISBN and find open-access PDFs when you don’t have access to a paper. You can create advanced searches — say, all articles mentioning a certain keyword added in the last month — and save them as auto-updating collections. When you open a paywalled page in your browser, It can automatically redirect you through your institution’s proxy so that you can access the PDF.
Features and Highlights
Collect with a click
The software is the only software that automatically senses research on the web. Need an article from JSTOR or a preprint from arXiv.org? A news story from the New York Times or a book from a library? It has you covered, everywhere.
Organize your way
It helps you organize your research in any way you want. You can sort items into collections and tag them with keywords. Or create saved searches that automatically fill with relevant materials as you work.
Cite in style
Zotero Word instantly creates references and bibliographies for any text editor, and directly inside Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs. With support for over 9,000 citation styles, you can format your work to match any style guide or publication.
Stay in sync
It can optionally synchronize your data across devices, keeping your notes, files, and bibliographic records seamlessly up to date. If you decide to sync, you can also always access your research from any web browser.
The program lets you co-write a paper with a colleague, distribute course materials to students, or build a collaborative bibliography. You can share a library with as many people you like, at no cost.
The tool is open source and developed by an independent, nonprofit organization that has no financial interest in your private information. With the tool, you always stay in control of your own data.
Also Available: Download Zotero for Mac