Sunday, 28 August 2011

[CPD23] Thing 14: Zotero

Argh. It was such a frustrating thing to learn these existed just after I completed my undergraduate dissertation, which had over 100 footnotes and a 6 page bibliography. I had the style guide by my side and went through and typed out each new reference in the right format, and then there was a lot of copying and pasting going on. So when I first heard about reference management tools earlier in the year I downloaded Zotero straight away and vowed to get to grips with it now so I'd be a pro by the time I had to write my MA dissertation next summer. And then...I forgot all about it.

Thank goodness for CPD23 reminding me about that little button sitting on my toolbar, and prodding me into exploring how it works. I've had a go at adding references for books from our library catalogue and from Amazon, which worked well. As you'd expect, Zotero could fill in more fields from our library catalogue than from Amazon, where I had to look up where my book was published. I added a couple of websites to my test bibliography, but for these I had to fill in several of the important fields such as author and date. Even though you might have to put some of the details in yourself, the genius of course is that all of your references are stored in one place, can be organised into collections and can be made into a bibliography at the click of a button, in various different citation styles.

Some of my test references
It's good to know there are several different reference management tools out there with various features, but I think I'll stick with Zotero for the time being. We'll see how it works out when I'm using it "for real" next year!


  1. I just played around with this, too, for cpd23 and I'm so glad that I did. Not perfect, but better than when I tried it the last time.

    Good luck with your MA!