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CHEM 338: Biochemical Analysis

Step One: Manage your articles with Zotero

1.      Manage Your Articles with Zotero: Your first step to making your life easier is to get yourself set up with Zotero, which will allow you to manage the articles that you find, collect them into folders, export them into bibliographies. If you have not yet installed Zotero, please do so now. Note that you have the option of choosing a Firefox plug-in, OR running "Zotero standalone" which is a separate app that can talk to one of three browsers: Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. In either case, it is a TWO STEP process to download Zotero. If you choose the Firefox plug-in, you must first download Zotero itself (1), and then download the Plugin for Word or LibreOffice (2). If you choose the Standalone app, you must first download the app (1), and then download the browser extension for the browser you want to use (2). 

Screenshot of, indicating the two steps that must be taken to fully download Zotero, depending on which option you choose to install. 

Once you have Zotero fully installed and open, open up Microsoft Word and verify that the Zotero add-in is available. You will likely need to restart Word if you already had it open while you were downloading the plug-ins. Note that this may look different depending on whether you have a Mac or a PC, and which version of Word you have. It may look like a little floating toolbar, or it may appear in the 'scroll' menu in some Macs. 


Finally, go to and register for a free account. You will need to choose a username and password, then complete the email verification process. 


After you've verified your account, go to the 'settings' icon in your Zotero library, go into the Preferences menu, select the 'Sync' menu, and ensure that your username and password are filled in so that your library will automatically sync.  


Step Two: Import Articles

Click the link below to access ACS Publications (all of the journals published by the American Chemical Society).Pick a journal, scroll through the recent issues, and pick an article which interests you. Import the article into your Zotero library by clicking the ‘import into Zotero’ icon. Pay attention to which page you need to be on in order to import the article....if you're on the 'PDF Viewer' will it let you import the article? 

  1. Check for accuracy: did Zotero import the right metadata for the article?
  2.  Notice whether the PDF was also imported by clicking the little triangle next to the article title to see if it expands to show you that there is a PDF and/or a snapshot included in with that item in your library. If the PDF was included, rename the PDF by right-clicking to ‘rename from parent metadata.’ If the PDF did NOT automatically attach, manually download the PDF and attach it to the correct item in your Zotero library.
  3. Find three or four more articles that look interesting to you and import them as well.  

Step Three: Organize your sources

Once you have imported at least four articles into your Zotero library, create a folder called “Bibliography Research Skills Practice” and add your articles to that folder by dragging them from the library and dropping them into the folder.  Then create a second folder and name it whatever you'd like, and add some (but not all!) of the articles to that folder. Notice how items will always stay in your Zotero library, but can be added to as many folders as you want. 

Step Four: Export Your Bibliography

  1. Go to the Style Repository and import the American Chemical Society style. 
  2. Finally, create a bibliography from your Bibliography Research Skills Practice collection; select the 'American Chemical Society' style, output it as a bibliography, and save it as RTF (which stands for 'rich text format' and means it can be opened by Word or other word processors). Open that document to check out your bibliography.

Step Five: Use MS Word Plug-In to Generate Bibliography

  1. Now that you have imported several articles into your Zotero library, make sure that you can easily cite them from within a word document. Open a word document and select the ‘American Chemical Society’ style as your style preference. (If you haven’t yet added ACS as a new style, go to the Zotero Style Repository and do that now!)
  2. Type a few sentences, then use the "insert citation" button from the Zotero Add-In toolbar to insert a citation for an item from your Zotero library.  Do this three more times so that you have at least 4 total citations for at least 3 different articles. Make sure you have at least one article cited twice, and make sure at least one of your citations includes two or more articles.
  3. Then, make some space on your page and insert the bibliography.
  4. Now, practice changing the citation style for your document using the ‘document preferences’ button.
  5. Practice deleting some of the citations and refreshing your document to make sure the bibliography adjusts itself automatically.

See image below for the places to (1) to insert a citation for an item from your Zotero library (2). Then, make some space on your page and insert the bibliography (3). 


Step Six: Follow the Research

Select one of the articles which you have imported into your Zotero library and search for it in Google Scholar, then answer the following questions:

  1. According to Google Scholar, how many times has it been cited OR how many related articles are there?


  1. Select one of the authors and search for additional papers by that author.


  1. Import several of those additional articles by that author into your Zotero Library