|Zotero - tools for research|
|What is Zotero?||Advantages and Disadvantages | About Zotero | Summary and FAQS|
|Creating an Account||Benefits | Instructions|
Zotero, an introduction
Zotero (zoh-TAIR-oh) is an open source browser-based tool that allows you to keep track of your research resources, including citations, sticky notes on an article inside the tool online, highlighting and annotations to specific articles. It relies on the Firefox browser to work, and functions as an add-on. As such, you need to restart the Firefox browser once you have downloaded Zotero to start using it.
Now that you have Zotero, start it by clicking on the Zotero icon in the bottom right hand corner of your browser window. The first article listed is the Zotero Quick Start Guide. Click on it and follow the steps to learn about Zotero.
The Quick Start guide will have provided you the basics about Zotero, however Zotero also provides an excellent suite of screencast tutorials and demonstrations. If you need more information before you feel comfortable getting started, or if you get stuck, they are a great place to go for help!
There are times when you will come across a problem with Zotero that seems inexplicable - expert assistance is required! Fortunately, help is on hand in the form of the Zotero forums. Using the Search function at the top of any Zotero page will help you locate answers related to your situation, however if nothing seems relevant, try posting a detailed explanation of your issue on the forums. Remember too that sometimes a search through an engine such as Google will reveal information from those discussing Zotero outside the Zotero site.
Using the Zotero library
Now that you've had a chance to explore Zotero, its time to get some hands-on experience!
If the above activity presents you with some difficulty, try the questions below to refresh you memory!
Having practiced how to add a web page to your Zotero library, explore what other items you can add, and how you can link them together. Consider how you might use Zotero, for example how could you track resources centrally if you are using more than one machine? How could you easily share your resources with other researchers? These questions, and others that may occur to you, can be discussed on the discussion page linked to this page.
Using Zotero with word processing software
By now you've had some experience playing with Zotero, and can appreciate its usefulness as a central repository for research items. Now its time to look at how to get the reference information from your resources out of Zotero and into your own documents. This is done by means of another Firefox plug-in or add-on.
To learn how to add citations to documents with Zotero, you'll need the appropriate plug-in for your word processing software. For the purposes of this tutorial, we're going to use Open office, so let's get the plug-in for Firefox.
You'll need to re-start Firefox to activate the plug-in. Before you do that however, open up Open Office and check that you have the latest version. If not, download the updates required now. Once this is done, restart Firefox and reopen Open Office. You should now see citation tools in the upper left-hand corner.
Especially for those new to research, such as undergraduate University students (or even high school students!), Zotero offers an easy way to keep track of your resources and reference them appropriately. Hopefully, this module has encouraged you to play with Zotero, so that you can expand your understanding of its core functionality, and how you can incorporate it into your research activities! The following quiz is intended to offer you a further opportunity to explore Zotero, and reinforce the understanding gained throughout this module.
This module has been built in wikieducator as an Open Education Resource. You are encouraged to use it, adjust it, and distribute it! It was originally built by Lindy Klein on behalf of the DE Hub. Any feedback would be most welcome on my userpage! Happy Open Adventuring - --Lklein 03:34, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Zotero Revision Questions