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Old Citation Management: Zotero

Zotero Tutorial

Collaborating with Other Zotero Users

You can invite other Zotero users to groups in order to share references and documents. Group content is available using the Zotero website, Zotero for Firefox, and Zotero Standalone. You must have a Zotero account in order to create and join groups.

1) Create a group

You can create a group by going directly to the groups landing page on the Zotero website, or by clicking the New Group icon in Zotero for Firefox or Zotero Standalone.

2) Choose your group name and type

Select a unique group name and choose the type of group.

Group types:

PublicOpen Membership means that anyone can view and join your group online.

Public, Closed Membership means that anyone can view your group online but in order to become members they must be invited or apply.

Private Membership means that only people you have invited can view or join the group. This is usually the best option for a collaborative project with a few members.

When you have chosen your group type, click the "Create Group" button at the end of the section.

Note: groups that are set to Public, Open Membership are able to share references but not files.

3) Library settings

The next screen will allow you to determine who can read and edit the group library. If you simply want to share your reference list, you might consider setting editing privileges to "Only group admins." However, if you are working collaboratively with a group of people, you may instead choose to allow all group members to edit the library.

Permission levels:

Library Reading: Who can see what’s in the group’s library?

Library Editing: Who can edit, add, or remove items from the group’s library?

File Editing: Who can change files stored in the group’s library?

When you have made your choices, click the "Save Settings" button.

Note: if you select “Only group admins” for any settings, you may need to choose roles for your group members after they join (see Step 4).

4) Invite members

After saving your library’s settings, click “Members Settings” to invite other Zotero users to join your group:


Under the list of current members there is a link to send invitations:

Send More Invitations

Click “Send More Invitations” and invite collaborators using either their email or Zotero username.

Note: If you set some permissions to be “Only group admins” in Step 3, use the “Update Roles” button to change the roles of users after they accept your invitation to join.

5) Group settings

Click “Group Settings” to customize your group:

Group Settings

Here you can add a description, select your academic disciplines, add a group picture, add a link to a webpage, or enable comments. You can also change the group name and type that you selected in Step 2, or delete the group entirely.

You may update your settings at any time by returning to the groups landing page, selecting your group, and clicking “Group Settings.”

6) Adding content to your group

After creating the group and configuring the settings, you may now view and edit your group library using the Zotero website, Zotero for Firefox, and Zotero Standalone. Groups you have created or joined will appear below your personal library and folders in a section labeled "Group Libraries":

Any member of the group who has Library Editing permissions (see Step 3) can save references to the group’s library. You can save items directly to your group library as new references by filing them in the group folder. You can also drag and drop references from your personal library into the group library.

Note: If you copy a reference from your personal library to the group library, it becomes a new item. Changes made to items in the group library will not affect the items in your personal library.

7) Sync

Be sure to sync your changes so that other group members can see them!

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