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How to Create Zotero Collections and Subcollections

Jul 11, 2022

Zotero is a great software for managing all of your references. However, to get the most out of Zotero, it is important to know how to use all of the tools in Zotero. Therefore, in this post, I will walk you step-by-step through how to create new collections and subcollections in Zotero.

Using Collections and Subcollections

Before we walk through how to create collections and subcollections, let's first discuss why they are important and how to use them. Collections and Subcollections are similar to the file structure on your computer. If you had all of your files in a single folder on your desktop, it would be impossible to find something that you didn't know the title.

Therefore, we create folders and subfolders to help organize where files are even if we forget the name. My suggestion is to use collections for the different fields that you are researching and use subcollections for the major themes in that field.

For example, if I was studying Mass Spectrometry, Ion Mobility, and Steroids, I would have my collection for Mass Spectrometry. Then, I would have subcollections of: 

  • Ion Mobility Fundamentals
  • Steroids Fundamentals
  • Mass Spectrometry Fundamentals
  • Steroids and Ion Mobility
  • Collision Cross Section Fundamentals

In this case, I can quickly find the information that I am looking for in each of my topics!

Create Collections and Subcollections in Zotero

Open Zotero

1. Click "Start"

2. Click "Zotero"

Add a New Collection

3. Right Click "My Library"

4. Click "New Collection"

5. Type Your New Collections Name

6. Click "OK"

Add a Subcollection

7. Right Click Your New Collection

8. Click "New Subcollection…"

9. Type Your Subcollection Name

10. Click "OK"

Rename Your Collection

11. Right Click The Collection You Want to Rename

12. Click "Rename Collection…"

13. Type Your New Collection Name

14. Click "OK"

Want to learn More about Zotero?

Check out the video below on all the tools to organize your references in Zotero.

If you still want more, you can check out my Research Accelerator Course which walks you through every step to developing a research idea through how to manage your project. (As a bonus there is an entire Literature Organization course that walks you through every step of using Zotero and more!)


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