Skip to main content

Zotero: Citation Research Tool

Groups and Group Libraries

Are you working on a group presentation, or writing a joint paper? Do you want to share resources with classmates or peers? If you & your colleagues need to work with a shared bibliography, you can set up a Zotero "group" and a "group library" (to share with the group members).  

Zotero has a web page here explaining groups and how to set them up. https://www.zotero.org/support/groups

In order to create a group, you must create an online account at zotero.org.

When you create a group, keep in mind the following decisions:

  • Visibility
    • Do you want other online Zotero users to be able to see your group or not?
  • Access
    • Do you want other online Zotero users to be able to join your group, or do you want to control membership?
  • Permissions
    • Who can change the items in the group library: the administrator only, or any group member? 
    • Who can view the items in the group library: the administrator only, or any group member, or is this open to the public?

Sharing Your Library Outside of Zotero

You can also export your Zotero library* into the RIS file format, if you want to share your citations with a colleague using another citation manager (like Endnote) or with someone who is not in your group. That user can import the .RIS file into their citation manager.

*Please note that PDFs and other attachments do NOT export between programs, however; only your citations are included.

To save your Zotero library for someone else to use in EndNote, use the Zotero "Actions" button (the one that looks like a gear) and then "Export Library." Select "RIS" as the file type and enter a filename that you can remember. After the export has completed, you can send that file to your colleague (via email, ftp, etc.)

Within EndNote, your peer would need to use the "File" menu, then "Import". Use the "Choose File" button to locate the file that you just exported from Zotero, and the "Import Option: Reference Manager (RIS)" setting for the import.

Please note that this creates a snapshot of your library at the time of the export (a static copy); unlike a shared group library within Zotero (as described above), the .RIS file does not reflect any additional resources that you add or edit later on.


Thanks to Lorelei Rutledge at the University of Utah, for sharing this information here.

Important Consideration Regarding Copyright

Please note that, as a UAH student/faculty member/staff member, you have access to the scholarly resources available through the UAH Library at uah.edu/library. In many cases (but not all), this also includes access to the full-text of those scholarly materials. 

Using a citation management tool (like Mendeley or Zotero) will provide you with a way to store digital resources for your scholarly use.

However, note that sharing those full-text attachments with other people may not be permitted by the publishers of those works.