Skip to Main Content


Zotero and LaTeX

LaTeX users need to create a .bib BibTeX file for their bibliographic references, which is placed in the same folder as your .tex input file. You will then call the .bib file in the .tex file to include the references.

Here is an example of a reference for an article in a BibTeX file:

    title = {The {Oligopoly} of {Academic} {Publishers} in the {Digital} {Era}},
    volume = {10},
    doi = {10.1371/journal.pone.0127502},
    language = {en},
    number = {6},
    journal = {PLOS ONE},
    author = {Larivière, Vincent and Haustein, Stefanie and Mongeon, Philippe},
    month = jun,
    year = {2015},
    pages = {e0127502},

These references can of course be created manually, but they can also be exported from Google Scholar, bibliographic databases... or Zotero.

To create a BibTeX file from Zotero, go to the File menu, Export Library (or right-click on the collection name, Export Collection), and select the BibTeX format. Zotero will automatically create a .bib file, that can be dropped into the appropriate folder, or uploaded for people using an online LaTeX editor such as Overleaf.

All information about the different styles and commands is available here.

Bibliographic Styles

Many bibliographic styles can be used in a LaTeX document. Some of these styles require the use of a package in a preamble to the document. 

If you want to use an author-date style, i.e. have the in-text citations appear as follows (Larivière et al., 2015), you need to use the natbib package, by adding \usepackage{natbib} in the preamble of the .tex file. You also need to add the name of the BibTeX file at the end of the document and the name of the bibliographic style you want to use.

With the command \cite, the references will appear in the traditional STEM style, i.e. citations appear in the text with a simple number inside square brackets.
The command \citep{lariviere_oligopoly_2015} gives this reference: (Larivière et al., 2015).
Using the command \citet{lariviere_oligopoly_2015}, you get this: Larivière et al. (2015).
Using \citealt{lariviere_oligopoly_2015}, you get this: Larivière et al., 2015.

A list of BibTeX styles can be found here.

Better BibTeX for Zotero

Better BibTeX for Zotero is a very useful extension if you use Zotero and LaTeX. It does the following:
- Automatically generates citation keys for all the references in your Zotero library (and you can choose which type of citation key you want);
- Better Unicode support;
- Drag and drop LaTeX citations into your LaTeX editor;
- Automatic journal abbreviations;
- Automatically keeps your .bib file synchronised with your Zotero library.

To Be Read and Seen