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Penn Libraries News

Penn Community Now Has Access to Zotero’s Free, Unlimited Cloud Storage

This solution reflects the ways researchers have increasingly used Zotero and other citation management systems.

Over the shoulder of a person sitting at a computer, Zotero is open on the screen. Next to the computer is a plant, and a wall calendar hangs behind the desk.

For University of Pennsylvania community members who use Zotero for citation management, file storage is about to get easier. The Penn Libraries has subscribed to Zotero Institution, which provides free, unlimited cloud storage for all current students, faculty, and staff.  

Like its popular counterparts EndNote and RefWorks, Zotero allows users to organize their research materials by creating a database of citations. Users can format their bibliography and add notes, tags, attachments, and even document annotations to each citation record. Zotero provides free cloud storage for attached documents up to 300 MB, but, until now, Penn account holders who use beyond that limit have had to pay for individual storage. With Penn Libraries’ subscription to Zotero Institution, individual storage limits and fees have been eliminated.  

This solution reflects the ways researchers have increasingly used Zotero and other citation management systems. Scholars often import thousands of citations at once, each with attached metadata and documents. Storage quickly fills up. With Zotero Institution, Penn users no longer have to find storage workarounds; all current students, faculty, and staff can store their documents in Zotero’s cloud.  

Activating Zotero Institution  

 Current Zotero users should add their Penn-affiliated email address at under “Manage Email Addresses.” Zotero will automatically update the account storage to unlimited. Any users who manage their Zotero account with a personal email address can simply add their Penn-affiliated email as an additional address on the account.  

New users who would like to take advantage of Zotero Institution should simply register for a free account (using a personal email, if they want to continue use after their time at Penn), and then add their Penn-affiliated email address as explained above.

Already paying for individual storage? Once Zotero Institution is activated with a Penn-affiliated email address, Zotero will automatically set individual storage plans to not renew. Upon graduation, students can always re-activate their individual storage plans.  

Detailed instructions and a complete FAQ can be found on the Penn Libraries Zotero Guide.  

Please note that Zotero Institution access is restricted to current Penn students, faculty, and staff. Affiliated employees with PennKey access to other Penn Libraries electronic resources - from the University of Pennsylvania Health System (HUP, Pennsylvania, and Presbyterian Hospitals) - are also eligible to create accounts. Alumni are not eligible to access this resource due to licensing terms. For more information, visit the Penn Libraries’ guide to accessing electronic resources.