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I’ve pointed to Zotero before but with the school year just starting it’s time to note that it has released a new version. If you want to be ‘professional” you can call this free service a citation manager but that doesn’t quite cut it for me. I like it when it’s referred to as a research scrapbooking software since it seems to create a new category of tools for the researcher. It’s Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs on steriods. I like to think that it helps get rid of those “here’s-a-photocopy-of-an-article-I-cite-in-my-essay,—can-you-tell-me-what-periodical-it’s-from?” questions! With so many research trails being so electronic, this is a tool for the future.
From their release:
Major Zotero Update: Release Candidate Launches
August 20th, 2007
We are excited to announce the launch of Zotero 1.0 Release Candidate 2. This release adds many new features.
Zotero now offers full-text indexing of PDFs, adding your archived PDFs to the searchable text in your collection.
Zotero’s integration with word processing tools has been greatly improved. The MS Word plugin works much more seamlessly and we now support OpenOffice on Windows, Mac (in the form of NeoOffice), and Linux.
Zotero is also now better integrated with the desktop. Users can drag files from their desktop into their Zotero collection and can also drag attachments out of their Zotero collection onto their desktop.
We have begun to add tools to browse and visualize Zotero collections in new ways. Using MIT’s SIMILE Timeline widget, Zotero can now generate timelines from any collection or selected items.
The new version of CSL (Citation Style Language), used by Zotero to format references into specific styles, is more human readable and easier to edit. We will be adding many more styles soon.
Users should also notice some performance enhancements. Zotero now runs smoother on Windows and Linux.
Stay tuned for more detailed information on these developments. We will post more documentation and screencasts about these features in the next few weeks. We have also added support for a host of additional web resources:
Here is their description of the service:
“Zotero is an easy-to-use yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways. An extension to the popular open-source web browser Firefox, Zotero includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and, such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways. Zotero integrates tightly with online resources; it can sense when users are viewing a book, article, or other object on the web, and—on many major research and library sites—find and automatically save the full reference information for the item in the correct fields. Since it lives in the web browser, it can effortlessly transmit information to, and receive information from, other web services and applications; since it runs on one’s personal computer, it can also communicate with software running there (such as Microsoft Word). And it can be used offline as well (e.g., on a plane, in an archive without WiFi).
The 1.0 release of Zotero already provides advanced functionality for gathering, organizing, and scanning one’s research, as well as significant import/export capabilities (including integration with Word and an API for communication with any program or service on the web). In 2007, Zotero users will gain the ability to share and collaborate on their collections with other users through an exchange server, and receive recommendations and feeds of new resources that might be of interest to them. In short, over the next year Zotero will expand from an already helpful browser extension into a full-fledged tool for digital research and collaboration.
Zotero is a production of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. It is generously funded by the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.”
It is worth reviewing to add to your information literacy training kits for research success along with EndNote, RefWorks, etc.

Posted on: August 28, 2007, 11:11 am Category: Uncategorized

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