What is Zotero?
Zotero (zo TAIR oh) is a bibliographic management system. It keeps track of information about books, articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, presentations, and a whole bunch of other things.
Why does that matter?
As you do research you will find all sorts of valuable resources. When you write your papers and essays (and books and articles) you will need to cite those resources reliably. Zotero keeps track of that citation information (title, author, publisher, date, URL) and understands the rules for all sorts of citation formats (Turabian/Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.) so that when you cite a resource you do it correctly every time.
Is there anything Zotero can't do?
One common misconception is that Zotero will store the complete text of eBooks and all articles one finds. Zotero itself compounds this misperception by calling it's collection of bibliographic information a "library." But while Zotero can store the full text of some articles and resources, it does not store the complete text of eBooks.
Why wouldn't I use Zotero?
Lots of reasons, some of them good! Here are a few:
In order to use Zotero most effectively you will need: