Zotero is free, easy-to-use software that helps you collect, organize, cite, and share research for Windows PC. Zotero is developed by an independent, non-profit organization with no financial interest in your data. Zotero for Desktop is a local program that stores your data on your own computer and 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 and flexible tool that can accommodate almost any workflow, but no one tool can be perfect for everyone.
As an open source tool, the program is free in two ways: you don’t need to pay to use it, and you can make changes to your code to make it do whatever you want. The benefits of the first are obvious, but the second is critical for a program that is relying on its research data. You’ve always guaranteed users full access to their own data, but open source means you don’t need to take your word for it.
The best policies don’t matter if Zotero wasn’t also a powerful and professional tool. It has an unmatched ability to save high-quality publishing data from websites, magazine articles, newspapers, and more, or to retrieve publishing data for PDF files that you drag. Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs word processor integration makes it easy to manage citations as you type.
You can automatically add publication data by DOI or ISBN and find open access PDF files when you don’t have access to a document. You can create advanced searches (for example, all articles that mention a certain keyword added in the last month) and save them as self-updating collections. When you open a payment page in your browser, it can automatically redirect you through your institution’s proxy so that you can access the PDF.
Features and highlights
Pick up with one click
Zotero for Windows is the only software that automatically detects research on the web. Need a JSTOR article or arXiv.org preprint? A New York Times story or a library book? It has you covered, everywhere.
Organize your way
It helps you organize your research however you want. You can sort the items in collections and tag them with keywords. Or create saved searches that automatically populate with relevant materials as you work.
Quote in style
Zotero instantly creates references and bibliographies for any text editor, and directly within 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
Optionally, you can sync your data across devices, keeping your notes, files, and bibliographic records perfectly up to date. If you decide to sync, you can always access your search from any web browser as well.
Zotero for PC lets you write an article with a colleague, distribute course materials to students, or create a collaborative bibliography. You can share a library with as many people as you want, at no cost.
The tool is open source and developed by an independent non-profit organization that has no financial interest in your private information. With Zotero, you are always in control of your own data.