This blog highlights tools, toys, widgets, plug-ins and toolbars that can enhance your MSU Libraries experience. These items are not officially supported by the MSU Libraries, but we still welcome your feedback. Have a suggestion or an idea for a new tool? Let us know!
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The summary of her presentation:
Zotero is a Firefox add-on used to gather and organize research and create a bibliography for papers. While doing research, you can add content to Zotero either with a click of a button or adding in manually. Documents of all types including Word documents (ex. research paper) can be included.
The program allows users to manage their research. For example, you can add notes, attachments, and snapshots. Snapshots can be marked up with highlighting or annotations. Collections can be created and documents can be in multiple collections. Collections are searchable or can be filtered through tags.
There is also the ability to create a timeline that puts your items in chronological order. All of your files are saved on your computer and are only viewable on your web browser. However, files can be imported and exported.
Zotero does have a beta online version so hopefully more collaboration and usability from different computers will be possible soon. It is very easy to create citations for a bibliography, and they can be formatted by the citation style you choose. It is easy to learn by using the program, but the Zotero web page also has nice tutorials worth viewing.
In the end Zotero is very user friendly. There are multiple ways to get things done, and it is nice having one’s research all in one place. Plus it is free.
There are a couple of noticeable problems. One is that citations may not go in correctly. For example, with WilsonSelectPlus it will grab the information, but it doesn’t put the information in the correct spots so the citations aren’t correct. The second one is the lack of collaboration and mobility, but hopefully this will be fixed soon. Overall, it has great potential.
As a side note, Zotero is being sued by the company that owns EndNote. See http://dltj.org/article/endnote-zotero-lawsuit/ for more information.
You could also check the Zotero guides that she created for us.
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