Searching and collecting research sources without an appropriate method and tool might lead into time-consuming confusion. Looking for a way to avoid a growing unstructured collection of 3x5 cards/files, I stumbled over the reference management software Zotero. And it rocks!
My thesis is coming nearer and the list of potential useful books is growing. So I decided to start using a reference management software to organize my bibliographic collection. A comparison at Wikipedia gave me a first overview, then I decided to try Zotero. My decision was based on four factors:
- Zotero comes as a Firefox extension. I like the idea, because the browser is my favorite tool for almost any research.
- It also ships an Openoffice package, to integrate the references into my favorite word processor.
- It's open source software.
- There's an active community.
Zotero does not only collect research sources on a meta level (author, title, year, ...) but also archives and indexes full text items (e.g. HTML, PDF). Tags and relations make it easy to structure and categorize items.
The installation is really easy and the documentation helps you to understand things within a short time. Give it a try.