Thursday, June 30, 2011

Zotero does more than I thought...

Get Zotero

What have I been missing?

I've used Zotero for several assignments so far, gathering citations into sub-collections and creating bibliographies (grumbling at how many times I have to fix the title field).
! But fancy, I had not picked up that I could Shift+drag to create an intext-citation!

I've even created notes, although I don't remember whether I've looked back at them. It just occurred to me: if I could somehow Show in the middle ONLY my notes - that might help somehow, but AFAIK not yet possible.

But notes! there's more:
Standalone notes - I guess I could create some for questions, keywords yet to search, passing thoughts to pursue later ... How do YOU use them?


When I heard "annotation" before I assumed this meant either editing the Abstract field or creating notes - but no, those snapshots I've been ignoring can be highlighted and sticky-noted. Now this might be useful IF I can export such annotations for mixing, how?

Hm, for a sub-collection I think I might like to export reference + abstract + my Notes + sticky notes + "highlighted bits". Why? Well, until I get a super large monitor or interactive projection or interactive table display upon which I can spread my individual notes to physically shift and shuffle, probably to print for that process.

What about reports? No, neither highlights nor annotations appear in reports.

Please tell me: How / does Zotero's highlighting and sticky notes work into your study process?

But ... reports with the excess stuff excluded by Jason Priem's fix; offers a way for me to gather notes to print and shuffle perhaps. Unfortunately, I can't work out why the author sorting wouldn't work.

Other filetypes like images

Aside from snapshots and pdfs that don't come with good metadata (I really want to learn more precisely how metadata storage and grabbing works with pdfs) - I haven't stored anything in Zotero. The above makes me wonder whether the option has productive value? For example, I'm thinking IF my research involved obtaining/using images + IF I attached it to metadata = could I then drag both image and metadata over to my document with Zotero styling the metadata as caption the way APA likes?

If nothing so fancy, it doesn't seem worthwhile, afterall Dropbox offers more storage for free. It now occurs to me that this "automatic snapshot" is what has filled my free Zotero storage - even while I haven't been using the darn things. If I switch that off, would I remember to take a snapshot when it would be useful to do so?


I'm finding the automatic tags a real nuisance. They can be hidden. Even so, I haven't been using tags ... @Zotero users: how do tags help with your study processes?

Sorting! Ta Da: Research Diary!

Wow, Finally I discovered what I can do with
Sort by Date Added and include Standalone Notes and we could have something on the road to a research diary.

Saved Searches

Thanks to people sharing their libraries like Paolo Cardullo, I got the word from Lincoln Mullin on how Saved Searches (and Tags) in Zotero can help with research workflow. (He also mentioned the value of Collections, but I thought that'd be obvious).

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