Teaching w/ Technology Tuesdays – Zotero
Gregory Eow, Kaplanoff Librarian for American History, demonstrated Zotero’s features and discussed the research and teaching applications of Zotero. He explained that Zotero was developed at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Zotero is Albanian for “to grab.” It is a free extension for Firefox that helps with digital research to collection, manage, and cite research sources. Similar to Refworks and Endnote, Zotero allows you to retrieve citations from library catalogs, Amazon, and databases. Unlike Refwords and Endnote, Zotero allows you to go beyond citations enabling tagging, annotations, the downloading of full-text articles, and capturing images and other media (tour of functionality).
Greg demonstrated how you can bring in citations from Orbis, the Yale Library Catalog, and from Historical Newspapers Complete. Zotero is only 18 months old so there are issues related to the import of citations that are not fully worked out yet. Some catalogs and databases work better than others. Another caveat that Greg gave is that Zotero is at the moment essentially client-based, meaning all your saved citations, notes, tags, etc. are all saved to you computer, not to a server as they are with Endnote and Refworks. This means you can only use Zotero from your own computer and you have to back up your Zotero files occasionally in case something happens to your computer. A server version of Zotero is forthcoming that will solve both these problems.
Zotero supports all media files including video, audio, and images. A snapshot features enables you to capture full text articles from databases such as JSTOR. When you have captured the snapshot you can then highlight within the article and also insert annotations. It is possible to import citations form Endnote or Refworks directly into Zotero.
For those interested in a hands-on demonstration of Zotero, there will be a workshop on April 11 from 11:-00 – 12:00 in Bass Library L06. Please bring your laptop if you have one so we can help install Zotero on your computer.