Zotero

We should take a moment out of our busy day to tell you about Zotero (sometimes misspelled as zotoro, zetero, zotaro), the scholarly research tool we have been using. Zotero eases the task of writing papers by automatically keeping track of bibliographical information. It improves the quality of assignments and helps prevent plagiarism by organizing quoted material into collections. It saves time with the technical details of organizing sources, allowing researchers to focus more on things like grammar, spelling, presentation and content.

Goodbye, 3x5 cards, sticky notes, pencils and tape. Hello Zotero! "Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] (Zotero Home, 2009) is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help collect, manage, and cite research sources. It lives right where work gets done--in the web browser itself."

Several documentation styles are included. Click on Zotero-->Actions-->Documentation-->Sites-->Styles and Standards-->available citation styles to choose a format to fit the project.

The citations Zotero generates are well-formed, but the date usually shows up as n.d., which is a pain, but it is usually a simple matter to go back and look around the page to find the date. It also sometimes gets things wrong, so we're always double-checking the author(s) and titles to make sure they are correct. Perhaps if these pages used the proper tags... Still, it beats managing the collection manually and it does keep track of where quotations came from, lets you attach notes to your items, upload other content via attachments, add tags and related links.

Everything is kept in a file folder which can be searched for on the computer, (on Linux it was in $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/plpzjz8g.default/zotero). This may be backed up, restored, or copied to other machines on the network.

References

Zotero Home. (2009). Retrieved May 18, 2009, from http:www.zotero.org/.
Zotero Style Repository. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2009, from http:www.zotero.org/styles.


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