Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Choosing a free on- and offline #reference software: Zotero

As my thesis is becoming a reality, I felt a need to reevaluate the online reference tools that are currently available and choose one I would use for the next couple of months (at least).

After having a closer look at Mendeley, Zotero and Endnote, I decided that Zotero would be the tool for me. But I must admit it was a close shave with Mendeley. Why?

  • There is an online and offline option (the offline one is called standalone);
  • When searching in scholar google, Zotero got the most details out of the references (this was why I choose Zotero over Mendeley, the funny thing is scholar must have the option 'import into endnote' to import into Zotero :-);
  • Zotero offers different publication styles for its references, and the one I need (APA 6) is amongst these options;
  • Zotero allows pdf's metadate to be screened for its details and import it into Zotero itself (see here);
  • You can build shared repositories for your research team or colleague group;
  • It allows notes to be added: enabling me to put my quotations into the notes section, thus I only need to filter these notes to find relevant quotes;
  • Zotero allows grouping of references;
  • It allows tags to be added to the papers;
  • Stored tags, notes and references can be searched;
  • Free up to 100 MB (which is not much), if you want more storage space you need to purchase it on a monthly basis (which might add up to quite an amount, so be careful to see when switching to another reference tool might be necessary. But same is true for Mendeley and Endnote is a commercial software);
  • You can add multimedia files as well as text files;
  • And last but not least: I would think a mobile option will be built, but in the mean time the Zotero community is posting trials with android tablets.

So... off to add more references to the Zotero library....