One research tool I’ve been looking at lately is Zotero. It’s a firefox add-on that allows you to build bibliographies across the web. Zotero makes it possible to save books from an online catalog, web pages, and articles from a database. Items saved to Zotero provide enough information so they can be viewed or located at a later date.

Screenshot of Zotero window

Screenshot of Zotero window

Items can be added to Zotero by dragging book or page icons located in the browser’s address bar to Zotero’s “title” window.

A useful feature of Zotero is that you can export bibliographies to MS Word and OpenOffice documents. To make this work you have to download a plugin from Zotero’s word processor integration page. There are a couple of  caveats with Zotero and they are that you have to experiment with it to make the most of its many features, and it can only be used on one computer because it’s a browser (not a web-based) application. One way to overcome this latter “limitation” is to download firefox portable to a flashdrive, and to then add Zotero to the browser.

Reference librarian at Bank Street College Library.

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