Two free, easy-to-install add-ons for the Mozilla Firefox web browser may make it easier for you to find and keep track of research materials.
Zotero is a free citation manager and more. It can help you to collect and organize your sources and to produce formatted citation and bibliographies when you write your papers.
Watch this video for a quick introduction to citation managers and what they do.
- Visit the Zotero homepage to install Zotero.
- See the quick start guide for a brief introduction. The three-minute video will show you what Zotero can do.
- You will probably also want to install the word processor plug-ins for MS Word and/or OpenOffice.
- Pierce Library's Zotero handout might be a useful "cheat sheet" to keep handy.
- Try using Zotero Groups to share source information with others when working on group projects.
- It's a really, really good idea to back up your Zotero library, along with all your other important documents, of course.
Zotero on the go
A note about using Zotero on public computers: It's best not to try to use the sync feature on shared computers in the library or in computer labs. First, there's the risk that you'll forget to remove your account information, and someone could tamper with or delete your Zotero library. Second, sync can take a long time, which might leave you sitting there waiting for the Zotero servers just when you need to be on your way. Two alternatives:
- If you want to gather sources on a public computer where Zotero is installed, like those in the library, use the export feature when you are finished to save your new items to a removable USB drive. Then import those items into your Zotero library on your own computer. Or...
- If you're a little bit tech-savvy, install Firefox portable on a flash drive and install Zotero to that copy of Firefox. Then you can take Firefox with all your settings, including your Zotero library, wherever you go.
LibX connects your browser to library systems to make it easier to find library resources from anywhere on the web. Download an edition customized for EOU's Pierce Library from http://pierce.eou.edu/LibX. (Note that the Internet Explorer version does not work!)
See this LibX handout for a quick guide to what LibX does.