Zotero – Helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources

Cost: Free for Zotero – URL: http://zotero.org

Just in case you’re not familiar with Zotero or Endnote, here a description that I lifted from the Zotero website that describes both products: “Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a software tool to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.”   It is also very helpful in building bibliographies, because when your cite books via online journals, or your library’s website, Zotero captures all the bibliographic data available on the page.  Zotero started out as a Firefox plugin, but is now developing a web interfaces that can be used by the iPhone web browser.   At this point the Zotero Web interface is view only, and is not specially formatted for small form factor devices, but on the iPhone at least you can go in and browser your library of citations.

Access Citation information away from your computer: You are talking to a colleague at a conference, and while your discussing the importance of Vannevar Bush’s concept of the “Memex” machine, you remember a book that you recently cited in a paper you wrote. You pull out your iPhone, click on your short cut to your Zotero library on line, and quickly browse to the citation.

A very nice feature in the latest beta version of Zotero is the ability to sync your database of citations to a Zotero server, so that you can access all your citation information on any computer with a Firefox web browser.  For people who move between computers regularly (like between a desktop and laptop computer for example), this feature in invaluable. Hopefully Zotero will offer more a more smart phone accessible in the near future.

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