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Zotero: Group Work

This guide will assist users in installing and using Zotero to cite, save and manage their research sources.

Why Use the Groups Tool on Zotero?

Zotero's Groups feature allows you to share references with other Zotero users online. This can be beneficial if you are working on a group project, are collaborating with peers, or wish to share resource information with a group.

How To Create and Share a Group Library in Zotero

  1. Get everyone in your group signed up for Zotero using the installation guide in the Home tab.
  2. If you are in Zotero Standalone, create a shared library by clicking the Create Groups button near the top left of your Zotero window (small blue/green button with two “people” icons, second from the left, as seen below). You can also create a group by selecting the Groups tab at
    (click on images to open a larger version in a new window)
    Zotero standalone window

  3. Give your group a name, select one of the three group types and click create group (the red button at the bottom.)
    Create a New Group

  4. Give your other group members a link to the group and ask them to join.
    Join group

  5. Add them, if necessary
    Members settings

  6. In Zotero, you will see Group Libraries, including the one for your group. When you save and sync your references, they will appear in all the members’ versions of the folder!

  7. You now have two sections in your Zotero collections pane: My Library and Group Libraries.

  8. Personal and group libraries are entirely separate, and changes made to items in one library do not affect the other. You can drag items back and forth libraries to copy items.
    Personal and group libraries in Zotero

  9. To join an existing Zotero library, search for it at in the Groups tab at You must be logged in to use this function. Alternately, you can be invited to join the group by the group’s owner.

Zotero: Setting up shared group libraries

Group Types

Private Groups
Private groups allow you to work together without creating a public presence for the group. Your group, and those you invite, will be able to see your library - but the group will not be listed. 

Public, Closed Membership (Recommended by the LRC Staff)
Closed-membership groups allow you to have a public presence, but also give you control over access. Anyone can see your library, but only those you invite, or whose request you have approved, can join.

Public, Open Membership
Open groups are just that - open. Anyone can see them, anyone can join them. File sharing is not allowed in public groups.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
Michener Institute of Education at UHN, 2018.