Jim Buckingham – Zotero and other online citation tools

November 28, 2010 

Announcement: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evonline2002_webheads/message/26911


The once dry and tedious world of citation writing is certainly getting much easier and some would say even exciting thanks to citation management tools like Endnote,  Refworks, Mendeley and Zotero. I expect to provide a simple look at how they have come to be, followed by a look at the simple affordances (i.e. authoring citations, collecting citations, creating libraries, annotating articles, tagging articles) and then to the more advanced affordances (i.e. collaborative libraries, collective research). and the implications that this is having on research. I’ll use Zotero as my example to help illustrate these things… and then open it up to others to contribute. Target audience? Anyone doing research and still citing work on cue cards .. anyone left with the often dreadful task of teaching students APA style citation management .. anyone who is a librarian or resource person supporting people doing research.

Citation management – what exactly is it? (how am I defining it?)
Citation management – teaching ? what is dreaded about it?
– tedious / time consuming
– deep understanding of its importance not fully understood by students
– result? often rushed by teacher (limited time and resource tools to support it) , poorly executed by student (lack of buy in or practice in execution)

Citation management programs – the “saviour” for citation management woes?
history? (If I can find any)
simple affordances in the typical 3 areas + 2 new areas
– collecting
– organizing
– citing
new areas
– syncing
– collaborating

Implications for research
– collaboration opens up new possibilities
connecting with topic experts around the globe to share suggested readings AND notes / ideas

Implications for teaching
– facilitates standardization of citation work by students
– promotes more frequent students / teacher collaboration on reading choices
ready made reading lists shared by teacher
– student produced reading lists can be reviewed by teacher
no need to wait until the student submits their paper to review their reading list
– collaborative note taking, annotation on selected readings by students
– discovery and sharing of useful supplementary reading resources by students

Example Zotero
(can this be presented via real time website visits or should I take screen shots?)

– cost – absolutely FREE
– open source .. progress being made in a number of areas
– credibility continues to mount
– relatively easy to use
– very robust .. scalable

Draw backs
– requires use of Firefox  (some see this as a limitation)
– as an “add on” / plugin in Firefox .. it  can be a memory hog and thus slow down the computer.
– not so straightforward backup procedures .. but “do” able

This presentation has been archived for future reference at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s