Answered By: Caltech Research Librarians
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2024     Views: 1970

Google Docs support is part of the Zotero Connector and requires the Zotero program to function. Make sure you have Zotero Connector installed and Zotero Standalone open when working with Google Docs.

When you use Zotero with Google Docs for the first time, you'll need to authenticate the plugin with your Google account.  When you're logged in and have a Google document open, click on the Zotero button in your toolbar:
 

Screenshot highlighting Zotero button in Google Docs.
 

You will be prompted to authenticate:
 

Screenshot of Zotero-Google Docs authentication request.

After you have authenticated, you should be ready to go!

To insert an in-text citation, click on the Zotero button in your toolbar...
 

Screenshot highlighting Zotero button in Google Docs.

 

...or select Zotero > Add/Edit Citation from the top menu.

 

Screenshot highlighting Zotero drop down menu Google Docs.
 

The first time you insert a citation, you will be prompted to select a citation style from the Document Preferences dialog box.

  • Please note: this dialog box (pictured below) may open "underneath" other windows on your computer. If it appears that Zotero is endlessly updating in your Google doc, look for the "hidden" dialog box.

Screenshot of Zotero Document Preferences popup window in Google Docs.
 

Once you have selected a citation style, you will see a Zotero search bar.

  • Please note: the search bar (pictured below) may open "underneath" other windows on your computer. If it appears that Zotero is endlessly updating in your Google doc, look for the "hidden" search bar.

Begin typing in the search bar to locate the citation you want to insert.

Screenshot of Zotero search bar autofilling in Google Docs
 

Click on the citation you want to insert...
 

Screenshot of Zotero search bar in Google Docs highlighting an author's name.
 

...and then hit enter on your keyboard and you will see an in-text citation.
 

Screenshot of Zotero in-text citation in Google Docs.

To add/edit a bibliography after you have inserted all of your in-text citations, place your cursor where you would like to insert your bibliography, and select Zotero > Add/edit bibliography from the top menu and Zotero will add your bibliography!
 

Screenshot of Zotero in-text citation and bibliography in Google Docs.
 

If you want to change your citation style, select Zotero > Document preferences from the top menu and you will be prompted to choose a different citation style.
 

If you want to unlink your citations by removing field codes, select Zotero > Unlink citations from the top menu.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Unlinking or removing fields codes is irreversible and prevents any further automatic updates to your in-text citations and bibliography. Proceed with caution and only unlink citations from a final copy of your document.

Please see Zotero's documentation on Google Docs for more information.


Part or all of this answer is adapted from Zotero wiki content distributed under various Creative Commons licenses. Additional content may have been adapted from the Zotero Research Guide by Jason Puckett and licensed by Georgia State University Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License.

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