Monday, July 6, 2009

Taming Literature, Zotero Firefox Plugin

Again and again I felt the urge to have a real tool organize my literature instead of crawling inside bibtex files with every new paper or report again.

So recently I heard something about SCOPUS from the publisher ELSEVIER, Citavi is free for members of our University but all lack some features.

The largest problem however is, how to import bibliographys from webpages and similar "free form" sources.

Finally I stumbled across the Firefox extension Zotero.
Once installed its active in the background and is only visible by clicking its logo in the lower window bar. If you now visit a site which has bibliography similar input, a small icon appears in the address bar which exhibits all literature found on this page. With a selection and by hitting ok, you now import one or more books, articles aso. Into the Zotero DB. Furthermore you can search in the DB by tags and other fields. Can organize categories and subcategories and output to RTF aso. and of course bibtex files.
You can as well import bibtex files to appreciate your hard work generating these files by hand in the past :-).

Zotero is of course not free from flaws and some webpages, even that ones which Zotero has optimized parsers for, provide information with errors till the next parser release comes out.

I've not figured out how to efficiently use this on multiple Computers at the same time, but I'm sure there is a solution as well.

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