By Steve Toub, Bibliographic Services Strategist

Zotero is an innovative citation manager that works in tandem with the Firefox web browser.  One of the enhancements to the software underlying Melvyl, which went live recently, made it possible to have Zotero import citations from the Melvyl interface.  [Note: if you are still seeing the previous behavior in which Zotero was unable to import citations from Melvyl, do the following: in Zotero’s preferences, go to the “Advanced” tab and select “Rebuild Translators Table”.]

Like EndNote and RefWorks, Zotero is able to collect citations from many databases.  Some of the features that Zotero has that EndNote and RefWorks currently lack include:

  1. Ability to index PDF files, enabling full-text searching of articles in your local collection.
  2. Ability to store image files and archived web pages.
  3. A full-fledged research tool, not just a citation manager; it is possible to include freeform notes as well as highlight and annotate archived web pages.
  4. Intuitive user interface.
  5. Integration with Google Docs and OpenOffice.org (in addition to Microsoft Word).
  6. No purchase cost to the library or the user.

However, Zotero only works in tandem with Firefox and it outputs to far few citation styles–eight at the moment, including APA, Chicago, and MLA–compared to the hundreds of citation styles supported by EndNote and RefWorks.

If you are new to Zotero, the introductory screencasts provide useful tutorials that demonstrate Zotero functionality.

Separately, CDL updated the Melvyl Catalog and UC Libraries Edition of the LibX browser toolbar.  This release includes the ability to search WorldCat.org and a version of the toolbar for Internet Explorer.  More information on LibX, including instructions for installation are available at:
http://melvyl.cdlib.org/F/?func=file&file_name=help-libx-uc-cdl90

CDL is interested in your feedback about both Zotero and LibX. Send your comments and questions to Steve Toub (steve.toub@ucop.edu).