Answered By: Caltech Research Librarians
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2024     Views: 5879

Zotero's Groups feature allows you to share citations -- it’s a great way to collaborate.

But first, create a Zotero account if you haven’t already. Then sync it with Zotero Standalone. You can find instructions in our FAQ on syncing Zotero.

To create a shared library:

  1. Click on the New Library button near the top left of Zotero Standalone (the icon looks like a brown filing box).Screenshot of New Group drop down menu in Zotero.
  2. Choose ‘New Group’ from the drop down menu
    1. A browser will open (for example, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) prompting you to log in.Screenshot of Zotero login page.
  3. Log into Zotero online
  4. Choose a name for your group
  5. Choose your group type
    1. Public, Open Membership (anyone can view your group online and join)
    2. Public, Closed Membership (anyone can view your group online and request to join)
    3. Private (only group members can view your group online and must get an invitation to join)Screenshot of Zotero's Create a New Group page.
  6. Look for your new group library to show up in Zotero Standalone after a short time.

If your new group library does not show up, click on the sync button (the green refresh arrow in the top, right corner of Zotero Standalone).Screenshot of the refresh button in Zotero.

Inviting people to a group:

  1. Log into Zotero online.
  2. Choose the Groups tab at the top of the page.Screenshot highlighting the Groups menu in Zotero online.
  3. Find the group you want to manage.
  4. Click on ‘Manage Members.’Screenshot hightlight Manage Members link in Zotero online.
  5. Find ‘Member Invitations’ at the bottom of the page.
  6. Click on ‘Send More Invitations’Screenshot highlighting Member Invitations section in Zotero online.
  7. Enter email addresses in the field provided.

Joining a group:

There are a few options available:

  1. Ask a group's owner to send you an invitation.
  2. Locate a group you would like to join and click on the join button; this mean you either
    1. Join the group automatically (if the group has open membership)
    2. Send a request to the group’s owner to join (if the group has closed membership)
  3. You can search Zotero groups but clicking on ‘Search for Groups’ under Zotero online’s Groups tab.Screenshot highlighting Search for Groups link in Zotero online.

Groups and Zotero Standalone:

  • You will have two sections in Zotero Standalone: My Library and Group Libraries

  • 'My Library' and group libraries are entirely separate

  • Changes made to items in one library do not affect the other

  • You can drag items back and forth between the libraries to copy them

  • The owner of the group library is responsible for managing storage capacity for attachments

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