Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Zotero citation management: Synchronise and back up your library

Plan A: Export your library

If you're working on a DCU Library PC (or any other PC/laptop for that matter), there's an easy option for taking your Zotero ref library with you.

In the Zotero application click 'File', select 'Export Library...', select format: 'Zotero RDF' and save the file to your USB drive (or Dropbox etc.). To import, click 'File', select 'Import Library', point to your Zotero file and select 'Open'.


Plan B: Synchronise your library

Plan B! If you're regularly using more than one computer/laptop in your research, Zotero's sync feature can keep your library up to date on all of them. Zotero can store a copy of your library on the server and check it for updates whenever you open your library on a different computer/laptop. All your computers/laptops must be running the same version of Zotero Standalone.

First, set up your user account. 300MB come free (you might want to consider storage upgrade if Plan B is your backup preference). Then:

  1. Open Zotero preferences (via 'Edit' tab select 'Preferences') and select the Sync tab. 
  2. Enter your Zotero user name and password. 
  3. Check the "sync automatically" box.
  4. Check both boxes under File Syncing and choose Zotero storage for My Library. This will sync your PDF attachments as well as citations (more info).
  5. Click the green circular arrow button at the top right corner of the Zotero window.
  6. Zotero will upload your library to the server.


Repeat this configuration on each of your computers. Any updates you make on one of your computers will be reflected on the others. This even works to synchronize your library among Windows, Mac and Linux computers.