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Managing References

An introduction to reference management programs and software.


Zotero is free, open source reference management software that integrates with web browsers such as FireFox, Google Chrome and Safari. It was developed by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Zotero allows you to save references from within a web browser and insert citations into word processor documents, such as Word and OpenOffice documents.

As well as storing and organising your references, you can set up a Zotero group - either public (open to all) or private (open only to those you choose to invite) - so that you can share your references with others.

While Zotero does not include as many styles as EndNote, there are many others available from the Zotero Style Repository. You can request a style if the one you need is not available.

You can also configure Zotero to find full-text resources through Discovery.

Getting Zotero

Get Zotero

Originally Zotero was only available as an extension for the FireFox browser. Zotero 3.0, released in January 2012, includes a standalone version that is also compatible with Google Chrome and Safari.

You can either download Zotero for FireFox, or Zotero standalone along with the connector for Google Chrome or Safari.

Word processor plugins for Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice are bundled with standalone Zotero.

Zotero Features

Zotero detects when you are looking at a library catalogue or database and allows you to quickly save an item to your Zotero library by clicking the small book icon.

You can also save web pages, just by clicking the “Create New Item from Current Page” icon . Zotero will save the URL to your library and attach a snapshot of the page itself.

Finding Full Text via Discovery

To configure Zotero to find full-text resources through Discovery:

  1. Click on the gear/cog icon above the left pane of your Zotero window.
  2. Select Preferences, then Advanced.
  3. Under the heading OpenURL, add the following to the Resolver box:

Then you can select any reference in Zotero and click the locate button (a green arrow) and select: Library Lookup.

A Source it @ Melbourne window will then appear listing links to any databases the library subscribes to that hold the item.

For staff: export your references from Zotero for import into Readings Online

To export references from Zotero in a format that can be imported into Readings Online:

To export all the refereneces in your library:

  1. Click on the gear icon in the Zotero toolbar.
  2. Select Export Library.
  3. Select the Format: RIS and untick the checkboxes for Export Notes and Export Files.
  4. Click the OK button and save the file to your computer.

To export selected refereneces from your library:

  1. Select the references you wish to export.
  2. Right-click and choose the Export Item option.
  3. Select the Format: RIS and untick the checkboxes for Export Notes and Export Files
  4. Click the OK button and save the file to your computer.

Then follow these instructions to load your RIS file into a Readings Online collection

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