Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music


with 7 comments

Let’s get honest with one another: How many of you, as you write papers, leave little comments in parentheses or in a footnote to remind yourself of the source you are quoting from, only to go back and spend two hours formatting your footnotes once you’ve finished your paper? I’ve been there, and I’m never going back. Zotero is the reason why.

First, an overview:

And here it gets awesome:

If you haven’t checked out Zotero yet, you should! It’s a free Firefox extension and a real time saver. While I’ve had to make minor changes to Zotero’s footnote info from time to time (mainly spacing), Zotero still helps with many of those pesky formatting issues. Plus, you no longer have to go back through every footnote and add the bibliographic information. It works with almost every style guide, including Turabian, MLA, and APA. Just add your source from Zotero, make whatever comments are needed in the footnote, and continue writing your paper.

Many thanks to Jim Hamilton for telling me about Zotero a few months ago, and Andy Naselli for telling him!


Written by Josh Philpot

October 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Do you write your papers in Word? Do you know anything about/have you used the built-in citations function?

    Paul Cable

    October 28, 2009 at 3:06 pm

  2. I tried it once or twice, and I didn’t really like it. Have you?

    In my opinion Zotero is much better. If you’re on, just add all the books to your Zotero. The same goes with books on the library site. You can add all of them to your Zotero without typing anything. Then, as you write, you can just add the citation info without looking up all the bibliographic stuff.

    Josh Philpot

    October 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

  3. I’ve used it a little- had to do a lot of reformatting for it. Not that great. Thanks for the heads-up! Looks like Firefox will get back into my dock!

    Paul Cable

    October 30, 2009 at 12:59 am

  4. I’ve used it for a couple years, but it was introduced to me only as a note taking device. And since I didn’t know about the Word feature til now, I really appreciate the post. I’ve been using this week. Thanks!


    November 7, 2009 at 6:10 pm

  5. Zotero is indeed good. Will it be free for long? My university is subscribing to Endnote, but I think I will like to use Zotero as my research platform.

    By the way, it seems that there are quite a number of reference manager – Refworks, Wizfolio and Menedely. What is the difference? Please advice….


    November 9, 2009 at 6:48 am

  6. Hi, from what I know, Refworks and wizfolio are both web-based reference managers while Mendeley is a desktop application. That is basically the difference.

    I am both a Zotero and Wizfolio user. Personally I think it is a good combination as Zotero caters to my social science and humanities research while wizfolio works well for my scientific research. In addition, Zotero in my opinion is the best desktop reference manager while I use wizfolio as my online reference manager. In this case I can back up my files online and have a copy on my computer and work from anywhere. Just a suggestion:) Can consider using this in your research after all they are both free of charge!:)


    November 16, 2009 at 3:47 am

  7. […] you’re not familiar with Zotero, you can read my overview here and here. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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