Zotero is an open source reference manager which was originally developed at the Georg Mason University. With Zotero you can directly import PDF files or use the browser bookmarklet which allows one-click import when visiting the website of a journal article.

The collection can be stored in the cloud for easy access when one is on the move. The cloud storage solution offers 300MB for free. Additional storage costs $20/2GB.

Data ownership

When you use Zotero you keep complete control over any of your data. Zotero keeps all information on a portable database called Sqlite. In the Zotero main folder there is a file zotero.sqlite which contains all data about your stored articles and your annotations. This allows you to migrate to any other reference manager in the future should you want to switch for some yet unknown reason. Any new tool can read the Zotero dataformat and import your information properly.


Zotero is available for the following platforms:

  1. Linux
  2. macOS
  3. Windows
  4. Web client

Mobile Apps

There is no official Android client, but the following third-party Android apps exist:

  1. Zoo for Zotero
  2. ZotEZĀ². Your Zotero reader. Anywhere. Anytime.