Zotero is reference management software that is an extension to Firefox. As you are searching for references for a talk, you can save them to Zotero directly from within your browsing section. Then, when you write your paper your can use Zotero's word processor plugins to cite the relevant references and make a bibliography for you in the correct format.

There are several reference managers that do the things I listed above. What makes Zotero special is that it is internet based, and has great document storage and collaboration features. So when you save references in Zotero, they will be available to you on whatever computer you run Zotero from, automatically. Also, you will be able to save any relevant web pages or electronic articles directly to your Zotero account. Finally, you can share all of this information with other people easily.

Zotero is a somewhat complicated system, and there is a fair amount of stuff to do put it to use. Listed below are some starting steps.

Setting up Zotero on your own computer

  1. If you don't already have Firefox installed on your own computer, please install it - http://www.mozilla.org/ .
  2. (You can use other browsers with Zotero, but Firefox works the best. If you are going to use another browser, you will want to download Zotero Standalone. If you are going to use Google Chrome or Safari, you will also want to use the appropriate Zotero Standalone Connector.)
  3. Next, install Zotero (http://www.zotero.org/) by going to the following link from within Firefox - Zotero for Firefox . Restart Firefox and if the install worked correctly you should get a Zotero or Z button in the bottom of Firefox.
  4. Then install the Zotero word processor plugin(s). The plugins are available for Microsoft Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice. Install the plugin for whichever word processors you use. if you don't use Word or LibreOffice, you may want to install LibreOffice/OpenOffice which is free as well http://www.libreoffice.org/. If the plugin install works correctly you should have a Zotero toolbar available from within your word processor.

Setting up Zotero on a campus MS Windows computer

  1. The campus Microsoft Windows computers have Zotero standalone installed, so if you are just looking at or organizing existing references, you can just use that. You can find Zotero Standalone under Academic Software|Physics.
  2. Often, though, you are going to be looking for new references, so using Zotero with a browser will be an important tool. Unfortunately, Firefox is not installed on campus Windows computers, and students typically don't have permissions to install software in their own accounts. Luckily, ther is a way around this restriction — portable apps. This is a form of Firefox setup so that you can run it from a USB drive and bring it with you or, in our case, install it on your M: drive, or even better on a thumb drive. Download and install Portable Firefox. While you install you will have to pick somewhere to put it - I suggest under "My Documents" or on a thumb drive.
  3. Start up Firefox portable by clicking on the file at whatever location you installed it.
  4. Next install Zotero from within Firefox portable. Restart Firefox and if the install worked correctly you should get a Zotero or Z button in the bottom of Firefox.
  5. Then install the Zotero word processor plugin for Microsoft Word. If this install works correctly you should have a Zotero toolbar available from within Word. The toolbar is visible from within the Addons menu of Word 2010. Note that when you are trying to use the Word plugin, you should have Zotero Firefox (or Standalone) open before you try to use it within Word.

Zotero account

  1. Get a Zotero account - https://www.zotero.org/user/register.
  2. Add yourself to the MapCores Zotero group. You will get a separate email about this from Zotero.
  3. Create your own Zotero group. Put your name in the name of the group that you make. You probably want to make your group a Private Group.
  4. Invite the professors into your group - our usernames are crumley, knairn, and lziegler142.

Configuring Zotero

For every system you install Zotero on, you should configure the Zotero extension.
  1. Open up Zotero within Firefox by clicking on the Zotero icon. (If you are using Zotero Standalone, startup the program.)
  2. Within Zotero, click on the gear icon, and then the Preferences option under that menu.
  3. Choose the Sync tab, and put in your Zotero username and password and click the "Sync Automatically", "Sync attachment file in My Library using Zotero", and "Sync attachment file in group libraries using Zotero Storage" check boxes.
  4. Click the Cite tab. Under that tab, click Styles. Click the "Get additional styles" link. This will bring up a list of a huge number style. Find the "Council of Science Editors (Name- Year)" style and add download it. This is the citation style that we will use this year.

Zotero assignment

Find at least 3 references for your paper and add them to your Zotero group database. Then create a word processor document that cites at least three references and has a bibliography that includes those references using the Zotero plugin. Note that for this assignment, you don't need to have any real text for your paper. Just add some random garbage text, and three citations and a bibliography.