Reference management

Managing references, adding citations automatically and creating bibliographies on the fly – reference management software makes writing academic papers easier.


Zotero is an open-source reference management system available free of charge. It allows you to save, organise and cite references from any type of source and to work in private or public groups. Zotero version 4.0 is available as an extension of the Firefox browser or as a stand-alone program. Zotero 5.0 is a stand-alone version only.

Download and registration

Go to the Zotero website to download the Firefox extension and the corresponding Word Plugin or the stand-alone version.

Zotero offers 300 MB file storage in a cloud. You need to register at Zotero if you want to make use of this and/or to work in groups. You can also save and manage files locally or on Switchdrive without having to register.

Instructions and help


The University Library has only licensed RefWorks until the end of December 2017. RefWorks accounts will  be no longer available after this date. We therefore recommend transferring all references and attachments before 31 December 2017.
The University library is now offering courses and support for the reference management system Zotero. You will find instructions for the change from RefWorks to Zotero and for using Zotero in the Moodle course offered by the University Library (ZHAW login required).

Further software and information

There are various reference management systems on the market, some of which are generally accessible and free of charge. Comparisons of the various programs can be viewed here (in German):