Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Zotero: Home

Basic features of Zotero reference management tool

Use Zotero for

  • Storing, managing, and citing bibliographic references
  • Collecting and organizing research information and sources
  • Sharing your research and collaborating with others
  • Cataloging digital copies of sources (saving PDFs, scans, audio, and video recordings.

Why choose Zotero citation manager?

  •  Free (300 MB)
  •  Easy to use - drag and drop interface to import metadata
  •  Open-source
  • Save your time 
  • Keep you organized

Choosing the right tool: Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote comparison

Zotero – free, open-source tool, choose if your content is diverse (in different formats), it works well with databases, catalogs, websites
 Mendeley – collaborative tool, it has more social media features, good if your research content is primarily PDF (integrated PDF viewer, you can create citations from importing PDF file)
 Endnote – KAUST has a company account, you can search databases from within the application and import selected search results, direct export option from PubMed

Quick Links


Zotero homepage

Using Zotero and Endnote

You can use both tools at the same time

You can share Zotero libraries with colleagues who use Endnote and vice versa

Both managers can read&write a standard citation style format RIS


Moving Zotero library to EndNote:

1. To save your Zotero library, click "File" and choose "Export Library." Choose RIS as the file type and pick a filename.

2. To import your Zotero library to EndNote, click "File" and then "Import." Click the "Choose File" button and select the file you just exported from Zotero. Set Import Option to "Reference Manager (RIS)" and click Import

Moving Endnote library to Zotero

1. To export your EndNote library for use in Zotero, click "File" and then "Export." Set the output style to "RefMan (RIS) Export" and save it as a text file.

2. In Zotero, click "File" and choose "Import." The new references will be added to a collection named "Imported" followed by the date and time.

Moving Mendeley library to Zotero?

Zotero can directly import from an online Mendeley library. Due to changes by Mendeley, it's not possible to import from a local Mendeley installation on your computer.

To import your Mendeley library, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that all data and files have been synced to Mendeley servers.

    • If you use Mendeley Desktop, check your sync settings to make sure that data and files are being synced, and confirm that you can open PDFs in your online Mendeley library.

    • If you use Mendeley Reference Manager, your data and files are already all online.

  2. Make sure you're running Zotero 6, which contains the latest version of the importer as well as a new PDF reader that can display PDF annotations imported from Mendeley.

  3. Go to File → Import within Zotero and choose the “Mendeley Reference Manager (online import)” option.

You'll be asked to log in to Mendeley to allow Zotero to perform the import. Your Mendeley password is never seen or stored.

Mendeley vs other BMS

Besides Mendeley, there are other Bibliographic/Citation Management Software (BMS), like EndNote and Zotero.


Information Services Coordinator

Profile Photo
Faten Barayyan
University Library
Building 12, Level 3, Room 3113
4700 KAUST, Thuwal 23955-66900
Saudi Arabia
+966 12 808 3622

Library Training

Not sure how to conduct a literature search? Not sure how to use Library resources and databases? Need help with using EndNote? Sign up for Library Training, details here.