Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bibliographically Challenged No More

What if researchers could just spend time doing research and not looking for stuff in their own collection by searching, stacking, printing, sorting, filing, saving, indexing, and an all the other creative things they do. Well they can! In fact, I've done quite a few years of "research" in this very area myself and now I am going to share my knowledge with you on this highly important subject.

I've tried a lot of bibliographic software solutions including the popular but expensive EndNote and even RefWorks. I finally came to the conclusion that sometimes in life the best things in life are FREE. That is why I now recommend Zotero!

I used Zotero to do PhD research and it did everything I needed to manage my collection and make sure that my dissertation was perfectly formatted according to the requirements of the American Psychological Association. Zotero is an open source application which means that it is not only free but it is essentially developed on the public domain and harnesses the power of distributed peer review (see opensource.org). Zotero is produced by The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and is also sponsored by The Andrew W Mellon Foundation, The Alfred P Sloan Foundation, and The Institute of Museum and Library Services.

If you are still paying for your bibliographic management software then maybe you should take a look at Zotero. What I really like about Zotero is:
  1. It is really well integrated with both my word processor and my internet browser. I use Windows, Linux, Mac, and even small devices and Zotero works across all of these platforms.
  2. It is super easy to "cite while you write.” In fact, this feature couldn't be easier to use. You can drag your references right into your word processor or even straight into your blog or email. In text citations will even automatically produce page numbers and auto create the entire bibliography for you.
  3. You can also share your collection with your colleagues or even the academic research community. I believe that developing a community of knowledge is the whole point of doing research anyway. I like the idea of collaborating with scholars without having to wait for "peer review" !
As a final note, I am going to leave you with the YouTube video so you can see for yourself what this is all about. Thanks for reading. Come back later, I'm organizing my collection of articles for my next blog topic right now using Zotero. Check it out.


Comparison of reference management software. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_reference_management_software

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