Tuesday February 17, 2009
Zotero -- Open Source Super-EndNote in your Firefox
A comment by Jon Duke
here at Regenstrief led me to Zotero, an Open Source Super-EndNote
in your Firefox (EndNote helps you collect and manage citations). Although Zotero was originally developed for humanities researchers, Zotero is useful for anyone who researches on the Web (whether for publication or software development), as it provides easy collecting, organizing, and searching of your personal citation list (think "bookmarks on anabolic steroids"). Zotero provides more functionality if the web page is designed for Zotero (see Make your site zotero ready
), but any web page can be linked or captured into Zotero for later use.
Some Zotero features:
- Zotero will automatically gather citation information if it is present on the page. You can collect any page with Zotero, but you may need to fill in some information if the automatic citation info is not present. Note that Amazon.com among other popular websites provides Zotero-compatible citation info.
- You can collect either just the link to the page, or a snapshot (copy of) the page.
- Notes let you annotate your citations to any level of details. Notes can also stand alone (i.e. notes not attached to a citation).
- A Zotero citation can have zero or more attachments.
- Collections let you gather related items together. A citation can exist in more than one collection.
- Tagging lets you group your citations in arbitrary ways. Zotero may automatically grab the LC subject headers for book citations and keywords for article citations.
- You can work with Zotero when off-line (airline travel, anyone?) although linked citations will of course be unavailable except for their Zotero metadata.
As a personal example, RELMA is moving from VB6 (1998 technology) to VB.NET (2008 technology), so there are lots of good additional features in VB.NET to learn about. I have started using Zotero to track my .NET Web citation links for RELMA so those links are ready for when I need them (as in the ability to use ASP.NET as a text template engine outside of IIS] (handy for internationalizing RELMA's HTML output)).
Try Zotero -- you may like it!