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How to Do Research: A Step-By-Step Guide: 5b. Zotero & MyBib

How to do research

Using Bibliographic Citation Managers

Use time-saving, Web-based citation management tools like Zotero, or MyBib to organize, store, and format citations in works cited lists or bibliographies. Each tool has collaboration features for working on joint projects. See the boxes below for information about features and functionality.

Log into your citation manager account, and leave the tool open on your desktop.

From EBSCO databases:

  • Perform your search and find the item you need
  • Click on the "Cite" link in the item
  • Click on "Export to RIS"
    • In Chrome, the downloaded RIS file appears at the bottom of the browser window.  Right-click on the file and select “Show in folder”.
    • In Firefox, a pop-up window asks what you want to do with the file.  Click on “Save file”, then click on the blue “Downloads” link at the upper right corner of the browser window.  The RIS file should be at the top of the list.  Right-click on the file and select “Open Containing Folder.”
    • In Internet Explorer, a toolbar opens at the bottom of the browser window asking what you want to do with the RIS file.  Click on “Save” to download the file, then click on “Open Folder”.
    • In Safari, a dropdown menu opens; select “Download Linked File”.  Click on the “Download” icon at the upper right of the browser window, then click on the magnifying glass to show the RIS file in Finder.
  • Move the file to your EC network drive, then follow the directions for importing the RIS file into the citation manager of your choice.

From other Online Databases:

  • Perform your search and select the item you need
  • Look at the page for an Export or Save tool (most databases have this feature)
  • Select the appropriate format, and export the citation

If there is no option for MyBib (for example):

  • Save or download the citation in a RIS file
  • Go to your Citation Management tool and browse for the file

WARNING: Always proofread citations made by citation tools, especially punctuation and capitalization. See the style guides from the drop-down menu on this page.


Zotero is a free, easy-to-use citation management tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. Zotero 5.0, the current version, is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, along with browser connectors for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The connectors automatically sense content as you browse the web and allow you to save it to Zotero with a single click. (NOTE: Zotero is not installed on GTL computers.) Zotero automatically creates both in-text and bibliographic citations in over 9,000 citation styles, including major styles such as Chicago, MLA, and APA.  This tool allows you to:

  • gather citation information from web sites
  • organize citations into folders
  • take and save notes on your stored resources
  • save the full text of articles
  • create in-text citations, foot  notes, or end notes
  • create citations for your bibliography
  • syncs your data with other computers or devices
  • share resources with a group when collaborating on a project

For more information about Zotero features, and downloading instructions, see the Zotero Quick Start Guide.


MyBib is a cost-free, ad-free citation tool with thousands of citation styles. With MyBib, you can:

  • automatically gather citation information from web sites
  • easily create citations for sources in a variety of types for your bibliography or works cited list
  • create folders for multiple projects 
  • create in-text citations
  • download your bibliography as a Word file, save it as a Google Doc, print or email it, copy and paste into an existing document

As with any citation generating tool, it's best to proofread the citations.

To get started with MyBib, register and create a new account.