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Select a Citation Manager: EndNote, Mendeley, or Zotero?: Zotero

A corresponding research guide for the 11.13.23 faculty training session.

Zotero Resources

Zotero Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths & Weaknesses of Zotero
Strengths Weaknesses

Intuitive interface, easy to learn

Overall, Zotero has a fairly intuitive interface and is easy to learn. The icons correspond to other software so it looks familiar.

Limited Free Storage

Once you exceed the 300 MB cloud-based storage option, you must purchase more if you wish to continue syncing your library or hosting groups.

Browser integration

Once you install the browser plugin (Zotero Connector), you'll have a one-click way to import any source to your Zotero library. Most items import very cleanly to Zotero, but be sure to double check, especially websites! 

Zotero for Mobile

Apps are a bit limited. The Apple app for iPhone/iPad does not have all the functionality of the desktop version. Android apps are all third-party (though that may change in the coming year).

Free to use

As an open-source product, Zotero is free and is not connected to any large corporation. All features and upgrades are included. You can pay for additional cloud-based storage if needed. 


The desktop version of Zotero is not accessible with a screenreader and the software cannot be used with just a keyboard. The browser version on Chrome/Firefox using either a PC or a Mac is generally accessible, with some workarounds. Learn more from the Digital Library Federation.

PDF Annotation

Zotero allows you to highlight, add notes, and select portions of a PDF. A variety of color options are available.

Customer service

Zotero does not offer any professional customer service. The Zotero forums are pretty active though, and the Zotero developers may assist you if you run into problems.


Zotero has the option to share resources using the collaborative group libraries feature. Groups are created on the Zotero website. This is a free feature, though PDF storage within the group counts against the group owner's account storage. 

Interface Appearance

Interface is not very aesthetically pleasing or modern-looking.