Zotero quick intro

Educause published a great quick reference about Zotero in September 2008.  It answers 7 main questions about Zotero:

  1. What is it?

    A research tool for managing online references.

  2. Who’s doing it?

    Software reads bib info from online locations like the Library of Congress, LexisNexis, Amazon, and JSTOR as well as many other Web Sites.

    Used by anyone who does online research including undergrads, graduates, faculty and researchers.

  3. How does it work?

    A download that is embedded in Firefox, Netscape 9.0 or Flock that appears as a button at the bottom right of the browser window.

    Application allows users to easily add, organize, annotate, and export resources, sometimes with one click.

  4. Why is it significant?

    Users have their own repository to store and organize the whole body of their research.

    It also allows for easy use and connections of those stored citations and documents.

  5. What are the downsides?

    Limited to Firefox and doesn’t work with Internet Explorer.

    Located on one computer.

    (Not in this document, but current lawsuit from the makers of EndNote, courtesy of Disruptive Library Technology Jester, threatens the new release of Zotero).

  6. Where is it going?

    Developers are working to make an online version in order to add availability from any computer.

    Format is good for scholars who want to use and cite the variety of media on the Internet.

  7. What are the implications for teaching and learning?

    Facilitates and encourages proper citation.

    Located in environment where online research takes place; the browser.


Needs of a medical researcher

Although this PhD candidate’s blog post has some points about the functionality of PubMed, her resistance towards using a medical librarian is one we should take note of.  I am sure that she is not alone in thinking that databases should be tailored to her needs.  She is a student at Harvard Medical School and observing the library web site, I see no liaison librarians.  Perhaps if she did have some, she would be more comfortable using them and they could educate her about the vast amounts of data that are accomodated in PubMed. It is true that PubMed could be more intuitive, but she needs to realize that the providing for access and retrieval of information is a profession in itself. 

 How can we educate scientists better?