About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Top Ten Tools: Zotero

Zotero is a personal research tool that both my children and I use extensively. In fact I often use it in collaboration with delicious. Currently it is a download technology that allows you to save information about a website and then, integrating that information as a citation in papers using Word.

How does it work?

As I (or my children) search through sites, I will click on the Zotero icon which will capture citation information in its data base. This might include author, title, date accessed, URL address, date written, and other bibliographic information. I can then add notes or add further information that might have not been captured from the web. When I am ready to write a research paper, I then click on the Word Extension that can be downloaded and added to the Word toolbar.

In order for Zotero to when writing a Word Document, foxfire must be open. As I type the paper and come to a part that needs to be cited, I click on the "insert citation" icon. I can choose the citation format that I will be using (including MLA, APA, and University of Chicago--in text and/or footnotes) and the citation will grab information from the database and automatically format it to go into the word document. This will then be added to a bibliography at the end of the paper without any additional key strokes.

There are two limits to Zotero. First, if there are other non-web based resources you are using, you will need to manually type in a new entry into the database as Zotero does not work well with adding citations in Word. Secondly, currently Zotero is a computer dependent software. As such, if you are using multiple computers, you must either make sure the database is the same for all computers or use one computer to write a paper. I have started to use delicious to save the citations, which I then download into Zotero. There has been talk about having a web-based version of Zotero, which I think would add to it.


Zotero is a database which helps to organize information and resources. It is definitely a personal learning object. Users can take notes, save resources to come back to, and even save resources (by creating a snapshot of the site) based on the date it was published, even if the resource is taken down or no longer available. Zotero also allows for the storage of resources other than in a paper format.


tellio said...

The newest Zotero has a Sync feature that addresses you second complaint.

The Word 2008 works with the Zotero Sync edition.

It is beta, but Ihave made it work fine with Mac word 2008 and with zotero sync edition.

V Yonkers said...

Thanks for the update. I know they were working on that feature earlier this year.