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Citation Managers: Zotero and Mendeley

How to add AMA citation style

The AMA citation style is not one of the default citations styles in Zotero. You will need to add that style manually. Here are the steps:
  1. In the Standalone version of Zotero, open the Edit menu.
  2. Select Preferences in the drop down menu.
  3. Select the Cite tab in the Preferences bar.
  4. Click on the "get additional styles" link.
  5. Search for 'American Medical Association' and select "American Medical Association (no URL)"
  6. The citation style should be added to your Style Manager. Click 'OK' to confirm your addition.

You can also visit the Zotero Style Repository webpage in Firefox or Chrome with the Zotero Connector plugin installed to install styles directly into Zotero.

More Details in this Guide

Most of this information was derived from the American University Zotero: Special Features Guide. Refer to that guide for more details.

Exporting References

How to create an simple bibliography using Zotero

  1. Open your Zotero Library in the Standalone tool or official website (
  2. Open a word processing application such as Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, or Google Docs and create a new, blank document.
  3. Highlight one or more references in your Library. When finished, drag-and-drop them into the blank document to create a quick bibliography.
  4. Recommended: review and edit the bibliography for spacing, readability, and small formatting issues.
  5. Optional : To select a default citation style for future drag-and-drop bibliographies, go back to the Zotero Library and click the Edit menu. Navigate to Preferences > Export to preconfigure preferences.

How to create a custom bibliography using Zotero

  1. Open your Zotero Library in the Standalone tool or official website (
  2. Highlight one or more references in the Library. When finished, right-click your selection to view possible actions.
  3. Select the option to "Create Bibliography from Items..." and wait for a new window to launch.
  4. In the window that appears, choose your desired citation style (e.g. APA, Chicago, MLA) as well as an output format before clicking 'OK.'
    1. If planning to input the bibliography into your paper, choose "Copy to Clipboard", open your word processor of choice, and paste.
    2. If you selected "Print" or one of the "Save as" options, a subsequent window may appear to help you prepare next steps.
  5. Recommended: review and edit the bibliography for spacing, readability, and small formatting issues.


How to insert Zotero citations into a research paper in Word

  1. If you have not already, download and install either the Zotero Standalone or the Zotero Word Processor Plug-In.
  2. Open a new or existing document in Microsoft Word, LibreOffice or Google Docs. If you have the appropriate plug-in installed, you should see a new menu option across the top of your screen for Zotero. In Word and LibreOffice, clicking on the Zotero menu pops open a ribbon of options. In Google Docs, a drop-down menu will appear.
  3. Place your cursor at the point in the document where you want to add an in-text citation from your Zotero Library.
  4. Select the icon or menu option to "Add/Edit Citation." This will launch a formatting box.
  5. Select a citation style from the formatting box and click OK to continue.
  6. A Zotero search box will appear that allows you search your Zotero Library by title, author or publication date. You can also click on the 'Z' to select the Classic View which allows you view your Zotero Library and select the item you wish to cite. 
  7. Once you have selected an item, you can edit it by clicking on the selection and manipulating the fields that appear (e.g. page number, option to suppress author name). You can also continue to add citations to the dialog box, if you are citing multiple items in the document at once.
  8. When finished, click the Word document (or if in classic mode, click OK). Your in-text citation will appear subsequently.

Recommended Reading

Zotero: Creating Bibliographies

Zotero: Word Processor Plug-In Usage

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