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Last Updated: Jan 27, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Zotero Disappearing?

Several MU users have been reporting "My Zotero has suddenly disappeared!  I mean, it's still in there, and it still produces icons in the URL bar, but I don't see the Zotero button at the bottom of my browser."

Before despairing...try this trick:

Click the mouse anywhere in your Firefox window, then hold down the Ctrl key and press the /  (forward slash) key, the one on the same key as the question mark on your keyboard.

This should bring Zotero back.

Why this works is related to why the Zotero button disappears in the first place.  When you are in Firefox and you accidentally hit that Ctrl-/ keystroke combination - it's all too easy to do if you hit Ctrl instead of Shift when you're trying to type a question mark - that triggers the shortcut to "hide my add-ins" if they are showing and "show my add-ins," if they are hidden. 

I suspect that previous versions of Firefox did not use this keystroke combination in this way - hence the recent vintage of this problem.

-Rachel Brekhus, MU Libraries


Zotero: What It Is and How to Get It

Zotero is a computer program that provides a storage space for citations (references to works you use in your writing) and formats them in any of hundreds of citation formats as you write your paper, article, annotated bibliography, dissertation or book.

Go to to download the latest version of Zotero. The original version of Zotero is a Firefox browser add-in, but with Zotero 3.0, you can get Zotero Standalone + Connectors for use with other browsers, too.

The part of Zotero that works with your word processor is a separate download.  Choose the correct download for your computer and word processing program at:

If you'd like to use Zotero with campus computers, install Portable Firefox and Zotero on a USB drive and you can take your Zotero files with you to use on any campus computer. Simply download and install Portable Firefox for Windows or Mac on your USB drive. Portable Firefox is a special edition of Firefox designed to run entirely from a portable drive. It keeps its own settings, bookmarks and Zotero library separate from the settings installed on the campus computers.  Here is a video showing the process of downloading and installing Portable Firefox onto a USB drive. 

Alternately, if all the computers you use have Zotero installed, you can register with Zotero, which will allow you to store your Zotero records on Zotero's servers, and sync that online library with the Zotero program on any computer.  See Zotero's instructions for syncing for more.


Zotero workshops

drawing of computer classroom

To register online, click the class title.  If these dates and times are bad for you, please feel free to email brekhusr at missouri dot edu with a preferred time.   We will make an effort to accommodate you. The March workshop will be incorporated into graduate student workshops that month; date is tba.

All workshops are in-person unless marked as online.  Zotero workshops meet in 213 Ellis Library, which is the computer classroom on the north side of the building on the 2nd floor, across from the main reading room.

Workshop Recording and Video Tutorials for MU Users


Request a Custom Zotero Workshop for a Group

To make special arrangements for an exclusive subject-focused presentation for your lab, group, etc., request a session by sending an email to Rachel Brekhus (see box at right).  In your email, please include:

  • Preferred dates/times
  • Preferred class location (can be your space or a library classroom)
  • Approximate number of people you plan to attend
  • Names of databases you use
  • Names of publication styles (APA, MLA, IEEE, Nature etc.) you use


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Rachel Brekhus
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174 Ellis Library
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Latest Zotero News

These Zotero blog posts often include short how-to videos.

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