Zotero and online resources

Zotero et la documentation en ligne

Introducing Zotero

Zotero is a complete, open source bibliographic reference management software that allows you to, among other things:

  1. collect bibliographic references, quote and create bibliographies in your favourite word processor (Libre Office, Word, Google Doc)
  2. annotate your PDFs and use these notes when writing your thesis, article or any other document
  3. do your research and follow the latest news on your research subject
  4. lots of other uses to discover!

You can find our documentation HERE to learn more about its functions and how to solve the most common problems.

Problems with online documentation (potentially) due to Zotero

Zotero's default settings can create a number of problems when using our online documentation.

Automatic saving of PDFs

By default, Zotero downloads the PDFs associated with article references, sometimes on a massive scale and in a short space of time. This process may be interpreted by the publisher as a massive illegal download by robot, and will cut off access for the whole university.

To avoid this, uncheck the "automatically attach PDFs" box in the Zotero preferences.

Désactiver le téléchargement automatique des PDF dans Zotero


You are automatically directed to your Sesame account but access does not open

Either the institution/Sesame combination is incorrect, or the resource does not actually require authentication.


To access online resources, you are usually requested to select the institution to which you are enrolled, e.g. "Université de Rennes" if you study/work at the University of Rennes, "Sciences po Rennes" if you are enrolled at the IEP, "Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes" if you are enrolled at the ENSCR:

Choisir l'établissement pour se connecter

If the institution is not the right one, you will be blocked from accessing the documentation.

Solution 1: reset the institution to which you are now assigned via this link:https://wayf.univ-rennes1.fr/WAYF

Solution 2: change the Zotero configuration

If the reset doesn't work, the problem source may be Zotero, the bibliographic data management software.

If you see the yellow banner below when you are browsing articles, don’t click on « Accept »!

Ne pas cliquer sur Accept quand Zotero propose d'automatiser la proxyfication


Go to your Zotero settings to delete the configured proxy server, and to be on the safe side, remove your browser’s cache and cookies.

If you are not familiar with the Zotero settings, there is a step-by-step guide in Firefox:

serveur mandataire zotero gestion dans Firefox

Solution 3: change the settings of the Library Access extension. "Automate my authentication and skip associated pop-ups" should not be ticked.

Still not working?

If the problem persists, you can open a ticket. Please provide us with as precise a description as possible of the problem encountered, the environment in which it occurs, by adding full screenshots if possible. We will think hard to find a solution!