We all need strategies for keeping our research organized. One of the best tools available is a free citation/information manager developed at George Mason University called Zotero (zoh-tair-oh). Zotero can capture citation information from library catalogs (like GPC’s GIL-Find catalog) and many GALILEO databases with just one click. It can save a snapshot of a web page and “sense” citation information from sites such as Amazon and the New York Times. Zotero saves this organization in a “library” for you, and can then format it in many different ways.
Once you’ve added sources to your Zotero library, you can organize them into sub-groups and add notes to them. There is even a special collaboration feature for sharing sources with other for group projects. Zotero also has word-processing plug-in software, which means it can format in over 1,000 styles for in-text citations, footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies or works cited pages in your papers.
Zotero has two current 3.0 versions:
1. an add-on in the Firefox browser which can be synced with online (cloud) storage and accessed from any computer
2. a brand new beta stand-alone program which can be used with Safari or Chrome browsers and opened in its own window. Both versions are compatible with Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems.
Take this video tour to see Zotero in action. Though it’s is super easy to use, there is plenty more help on this website. Because Zotero is an open-source product, there is a lively community of users who support each other through a user forum. See the download page to install either version and check out the Quick Start Guide to begin organizing your citations.
- Pat Ziebart, Clarkston and Alpharetta Campuses
The photo in this post is by finnarne and is used under Creative Commons license.