Skip to Main Content

Zotero Tutorial

Step by step instructions for the use of Zotero citation management software.

What is "Metadata"?

"Metadata" is the bibliographic information. This includes details like the type of item (article, book chapter, video recording, website), author/director/contributor, title, source URL, notes, tags, etc.

When saving items using Zotero, the metadata is automatically downloaded and saved, but this information may contain errors or might be missing important information needed for accurate citing.

It is important that you examine the bibliographic info produced with Zotero for accuracy, double check:

  • Names
  • Dates
  • Capitalization
  • Punctuation

Also, look for any missing information that is needed to create accurate citations. You should make the adjustments to items in your Zotero Library before creating in-text citations/footnotes or building reference lists.

Editing Item Metadata

Edit Items Using Zotero Standalone

The edits made are automatically saved as you work. Click the sync icon "" to sync changes made in the standalone app with your online library.

  1. Select the item to be edited from the center column of the Zotero pane
  2. Change the item type using the drop-down menu at the top of the pane.
  3. Click the information field you want to change in the right column of the Zotero pane: a text box will appear, allowing you to edit the text.
  4. Add or delete creators (authors, contributors, editors) by clicking on the plus or minus signs,
  5. Clicking the single or double boxes to the right of the name toggles between a single field (for some Asian names, organizations, etc.) and double fields (lastname, firstname).
  6. Change the creator type (author, contributor, etc.) by clicking on the type label to the left of the name.

Edit Items Online with

When making edits online at

This brings you to the items detail page. From here, click the Edit icon "" and make the needed changes.

Preview the citation by clicking Cite icon ""