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Guide to Library Services at Naas General Hospital: Managing References

This is a short guide on how to make the most of accessing both print and electronic services from the Naas General Hospital Library

What are reference managers?

Reference Management is perceived to be tedious and time consuming by many researchers, especially when it is done manually. An easier way of working with references is to use a reference manager.

A reference manager is the software used to handle references and full-text documents, and citations while writing. It helps researchers find relevant literature, allows them to store papers and their bibliographic metadata in a personal database for later retrieval, and allows researchers to insert citations and references in a chosen citation style when writing a text. 

Reference managers are also called citation managers or bibliographic management software.


Zotero is a free and open-source reference management system. It can be used to manage bibliographic data and related research materials (i.e. full text PDF files). Zotero shows an icon when a resource (book, article,etc.) is being viewed on many websites (such as library catalogs, PubMed, Amazon and publisher's websites). Clicking this icon saves the full reference information to the Zotero library. Zotero can also save a copy of the webpage, or, in the case of academic articles, a copy of the full text PDF.

Users can then add notes, tags and attachments. Zotero users can generate citations and bibliographies through word processor plugins or through the browser add-on itself.

Zotero works best as an add-on for the Mozilla Firefox browser but is also compatible for Safari and Chrome.

Zotero Guide

This document goes through all you need to know to set up and get the most out of the Zotero reference manager software.

National Health Library & Knowledge Service. Health Service Executive. Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8. Tel: 01-6352555/8. Email: