Skip to Main Content


Collaborate with Group Libraries

What is a Group Library?

A Group Library is a collection of Zotero source items managed through your online Zotero account that you can share with others.  You can also use a Group Library to create and share a live web-based bibliography.

What is Required for Sharing a Group Library?

  • An online Zotero account

Because Group Library sharing is managed from data stored in Zotero cloud (and not directly from data stored on your local computer), you need an online Zotero account.  This is the same Zotero cloud account recommended for backing up your Zotero library in "Register and Sync a Zotero Account" of this Zotero guide.

  • Email addresses for specific collaborators

Specific collaborators will be notified via email that you have invited them to access a shared Group Library.  Because each collaborator must have a Zotero account for Group Library sharing, the Zotero email invitation includes links for either signing into an existing account or registering a new one.


You can learn much more about Zotero Shared Groups from the documentation provided at the Zotero website.

Setting Up and Sharing Your Group Library

  1. Login to your Zotero online account from the Zotero "Groups" page:

Zotero "Groups: Page

  1. Select the "Create a New Group" link.

  1. Enter a unique name for your Group.
  2. Define the Group type by selecting one of the options for Shared Library permissions.
  3. Select "Create Group".
  4. From the resulting Group Library settings page, review the selected options for who can see and join your group.  Also review the available options defining who can edit and add items to the Group Library.
  5. Select the "Members Settings" link on the Shared Library settings page of your new Group Library.  From here, use the "Send More Invitations" link to enter your collaborators' email addresses.  You can also return to this page to see a list of existing members and to modify their group roles.

After entering collaborator email addresses, they will receive an invitation email containing a link to your Shared Library online.  Once there, they will be prompted to either Login to their existing Zotero account or Register a new account for access to your Shared Library.

  1. After creating your Shared Library, you will see the folder in the bottom left of your Zotero desktop application screen.


Migrating a Library From EndNote to Zotero

The simplest way to migrate the citation information from an EndNote library into a Zotero library is to export your existing EndNote library as a single XML file and then import that file into Zotero.

If your EndNote library has a lot of structure (i.e. folders), you will need to create, and subsequently import in Zotero, an XML file for each folder.

In addition to migrating the citation information from your EndNote library, you can also migrate files attached to those records (e.g. a PDF file of a journal article).

A Note About File Attachments

When choosing to migrate citation information AND file attachments to a Zotero library, it is helpful to know the two major ways Zotero handles file attachments.

Attaching A FILE To An Item: With this method, you are actually adding the attached file to your Zotero library.  This has very practical implications, because your free online Zotero backup has a maximum size of 300 MB.  Assuming an average PDF size of approximately 3 MB, this would allow you to attach ~100 files.

Attaching A LOCAL LINK To An Item: Instead of attaching a file to your Zotero library, you can attach a link to a file stored locally on your computer.  Because, relative to the size of a PDF file, these links require very little space in your Zotero library, your capacity for attaching links is very large.

Best practice for this option is to store all of your Zotero-related PDF files in the same local folder.  This allows you to easily backup the files in that folder using third party cloud storage (e.g. Google Drive, DropBox, etc.).

Migrating an EndNote Library Without File Attachments

Export Your EndNote Library As An XML File
  1. From the EndNote application, select the "All References" group and then select all of the items in that group.

  2. Export your existing EndNote library as an XML file.

Import Your EndNote XML Library File Into A Zotero Library
  1. From the Zotero Application, select File → “Import…”.
    Select "A file" from the resulting pop-up dialog box, click the "Next" button, and then select the appropriate EndNote XML file.

  2. Review your new Zotero library and clean up any problems.

Refer to this Zotero Help page for a more detailed description.

Migrating an EndNote Library With Local Links to File Attachments

Attaching PDF files directly to items in your Zotero library can significantly increase the size of your library.  Instead of attaching the PDF file itself to an item in your Zotero library, it is also possible to attach a link to the file on your local hard drive.

Before Getting Started

These instructions assume that your EndNote library is named "MyEndNoteLibrary" and that the associated My EndNote Library.enl file and the My EndNote Library.Data folder are located in "Documents" directory.

They also result in creation of a new directory in your "Documents" folder called "Zotero PDFs".


Create A New Folder For Your Zotero Attachments

Make a copy of your "My EndNote Library.Data" folder in your Documents directory and rename the duplicate folder "Zotero PDFs".


Export Sources From Your EndNote Library As XML Files
  1. From the EndNote application: 
    1. Highlight all the desired sources in your EndNote library, File → Export. 

    2. Complete the “Export file name:” pop-up.  Be sure to change the file name from the default EndNote library name, change the file type to "XML (.xml)", and be sure the "Export Selected References" box is selected.  For our purposes here, the specific "Output Style" is irrelevant and anything can be selected.

    3. Save the exported XML file to your "Zotero PDFs" folder.

  2. If you are sequentially exporting the contents of more than one EndNote group, repeat Step 2 for each group you want to export to the new Zotero library.
  3. Close the EndNote application.


Import EndNote XML File(s) Into Zotero And Link To PDF Files
  1. From the Zotero Application:

    1. Select File → Import.
      Select  "A file (BibTex, RIS, Zotero, RDF, etc.)" from the "Where do you want to import from?" dialog box.
      Then, select the "Next" button.

    2. Navigate to your "Zotero PDFs” directory and select the appropriate XML file.

      Note that your new Zotero collection will have the same name as the XML file.

    3. From the import "Options" pop-up, select "Place imported collections and items into new collection" and "Link to files in original location".
      Then select the "Next" button.

  2. Spot check the newly imported Zotero sources and their attached PDF file links.

Backup Your "Zotero PDFs" Folder To Cloud Storage

Because the locally stored PDF files are not stored as part of your Zotero library, it is important that you use an alternative form of cloud storage to back them up.  Consult your cloud storage provider (e.g. Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc.) for directions for backing up contents of a local folder.

Attaching Local Links to New Zotero Sources
  1. As you continue to import new references and PDF files to your Zotero library, save the PDF files to the "Zotero PDFs" folder you created in your Documents directory.
  2. In the Zotero application:
    1. Select the new source. Then select the "Add attachment" paperclip button in the Zotero menu.
    2. Select "Attach Link to File..."
    3. Select the appropriate PDF file from your "Zotero PDFs" folder.


Refer to this Zotero Help page for a more detailed description of Alternative Syncing Methods:

Migrating an EndNote Library With File Attachments

For Zotero libraries with smaller numbers of attached files, it is convenient to attach files directly to items in your Zotero library.    Because these attached files are part of your Zotero library, they are synched with your library sources in your Zotero cloud storage.

Zotero provides 300 MB free total library storage.  Given an average PDF file size of ~ 3 MB, you should expect the number of attached files to be approximately 75 - 100.  If you anticipate creating a Zotero library with a larger number of sources with attachments, please see "Migrating an EndNote Library With Local Links to File Attachments" for another option for Zotero source file attachments.


Refer to this Zotero Help page for a more detailed description of Importing an EndNote library into Zotero.

Migrating a Library From Other (i.e. Non-EndNote) Citation Managers to Zotero

It is generally possible to export a reference library from many citation managers as an intermediate file type (e.g. XML, RIS, BibTeX, or CSL JSON) file which can then be imported into Zotero.  Although this can be a time saver for large libraries, it is likely that this transfer will introduce changes that you will need to correct.

Given the large number of citation managers, we recommend that you consult the documentation for your present citation manager for instructions for migrating to Zotero.

The general process involves five major steps.

  1. Export your existing library from your current citation management application as an intermediate library file.
  2. From the Zotero Application, select File → “Import…”.
    Select "A file" from the resulting pop-up dialog box, click the "Next" button, and then select the appropriate EndNote XML file.

  3. Review your new Zotero library and clean up any problems.
  4. Refer to this Zotero Help page for a more detailed description:

For more detailed descriptions of how to migrate reference libraries from Mendeley, Citavi, Microsoft Word Bibliography XML, BibTex, LaTex, and JabRef, refer to this Zotero Help page.

Adding Additional Citation Styles

The Zotero desktop application comes with a many of the most widely-used citation styles preinstalled, which can be viewed and selected from the Zotero Style Manager. Over 8,100 additional styles can be added from the Zotero Style Repository.

To access the Style Manager, open preferences (on a PC preferences are located under the Edit menu, on a Mac preferences are located under the Zotero menu). Then go to the Cite tab to view the Style Manager. 

To add another style, go to the Zotero Style Repository webpage and search for the style you would like to add.  When you click on the style name, the Zotero connector will open a prompt asking if you'd like to "Add citation style to Zotero?" Click OK, and the style will be added to the Style Manager in your Zotero preferences.

More information about adding and editing citation styles can be found at