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Archive for January, 2009

Zotero is a research tool used in managing mainly online references. It is free, easy-to-use Mozilla Firefox Internet browser extension helps to collect, manage, and cite research sources. It lives right in the web browser itself and provides users with automated access to bibliographic information for resources viewed online. Zotero includes features to manage sources, and also allows users to make manual entries.

It uses “translators” (software) for several hundred websites, online databases such as Library of Congress catalogue, JSTOR and commercial sites such as Amazon.com, Zotero “senses” the bibliographic information contained in a web page and when the user clicks the Zotero icon (appears after the URL address) which gathers that information and places it in the user’s library of sources. To check and manage sources, Zotero can be activated by clicking on its logo appeared at the right corner of Firebox browser window.

Using Zotero researchers can collect information they need later to review and cite references and create bibliographies in standard formats such as APA, Chicago Manual of Style and MLA.  It results in to having a centralized location for gathering and storing references, significantly streamlining the research process.

I recently had an opportunity to work on this tool and got quite impressed with its features. We LIS professionals and other information intermediaries need to test such free online tools to train fellow researchers, which will help them in organizing references from ever growing information sources.

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