You can share references with other users, through group libraries. There are three types of groups on Zotero:
- public groups, with open membership: anyone can view the library and join the group. (here an example of a public group built by students of the Graduate Institute)
- public groups, with closed membership: anyone can view the library, but to join the group, you must apply or be invited
- private groups: only members can view the library, and you must be invited to join.
Groups can be created either directly on the Zotero web site or by clicking on the New Collection button in Zotero -> New Group.
Private groups are a good option for students working in groups on a project or paper. The person who creates the group becomes the owner of the group and can invite other people to join the group, and decide which rights they will have (view, edit). The group uses a storage place from the account of the group's owner. If the group's owner wishes to save storage place, he/she can check the "no group file storage" in the group settings, and then the attached files will not be stored on the Zotero web site.
Group libraries will appear in a separate section in the left pane of your Zotero library. The items of your group libraries will not appear in your personal library unless you drag and drop them there. And changes made to a reference in your group library will not be replicated in your personal library.
Participants in a Zotero group can be:
- the owner: the creator of the group becomes the owner. Owners have full control over the settings of the group, are the only ones that can change the type of group (private, public, open, closed) or delete it. They have all the abilities of admins and cannot leave a group without making someone else the owner first;
- admins: group participants that can co-manage the group with the owner. They can change group settings, invite members, control access to the library and file storage;
- members can view the group's library, and may have the right to add, edit, and delete library items and attachments.