Zotero – the next generation research tool

September 19th, 2006 by Ross Scaife

Dan Cohen has new blog posts about the Zotero project, which among other things has just landed substantial new support from Mellon.  For interesting details of where things stand, read Dan’s blog; meanwhile here’s a summary of what Zotero can do:

  • captures citation information you want from a web page automatically, without typing or cutting and pasting on your part, and saves this information directly into the correct fields (e.g., author, title, etc.) of your Zotero library
  • lets you store—beyond citations—PDFs, files, images, links, and whole web pages
  • allows you to easily take notes on the research materials you capture
  • makes it easy to organize your research materials in multiple ways, such as folders, saved searches (smart folders), and tags
  • offers fast, as-you-type search through your materials so that you can quickly find that source that you only vaguely remember
  • lets you export formatted citations to your paper, article, book, or website
  • has an easy-to-use, modern interface that simplifies all of your research tasks, with “where has that been?” features such as autosaving your notes as you type
  • runs right in your web browser and is a platform for new forms of digital research that can be extended with other web tools and services
  • is free and open source
  • has a name that is loosely based on the Albanian (yes, Albanian) word zotëroj, meaning “to acquire, to master,” as in learning

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