Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Zotero - a review

For many of us, typing and editing footnotes and the bibliography can be a real chore. Thanks to reference management software, this task has been made easier. However, after a not so good experience with a few programs two years ago (i.e., compatibility issues) and wasting my money, I decided to surf the web and search for a software that will organize my bibliography for free. True enough, a few weeks ago I chanced upon Zotero. For someone who is not computer savvy, I find Zotero very user-friendly, especially with its simple step-by-step user guide. Since Zotero works with the web (i.e., Firefox), it can grab the bibliographical data from materials in those sites that it recognizes, like Google Books. This means no more typing of bibliography entries, although you may need to do a bit of editing for some parts of the entry, like adding the place and year of publication. Finally, what I consider to be the best features of Zotero, are (1) it allows you to store bibliographical data and (2) you can use it to cite sources for footnoting and bibliography in your written work – and both these actions for FREE. However, if you plan to store your pdf files in your Zotero account, you need to increase your storage capacity and this means you have to pay. I still need to explore the other features of Zotero and I don’t know what problems I may find, but for now I am very happy there is a program called Zotero!

If you want to check it out, here is the link to Zotero: http://ica.library.oregonstate.edu/tutorials/626--Introduction-to-Zotero

Joan Infante


  1. Zotero Standalone is now out of Beta and allows integration with the Chrome and Safari browsers also. Since the standalone version doesn't have to run through Firefox, it seems also to be much faster. Also, it is possible to disable attachment syncing in Zotero so that you can store in your local Zotero database basically any type or size of file that you want but also not have to pay for these files to be synced to the Zotero cloud. The cloud is a good resource as a backup and for when you might want to access your Zotero database from multiple computers. Backing up the Zotero directory with another cloud storage provider (e.g., I've just started using CrashPlan) will also work and may be more cost effective—again, assuming one doesn't need to run Zotero on multiple machines.

  2. Zotero does, of course, also have good working support for some different biblical studies citation styles (e.g., CBQ, SBL, http://www.zotero.org/styles/). It's not perfect, but it's improving and at least tends to leave fairly little manual editing to do.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...