Zotero started as a free Firefox extension. You can download the Firefox extension and plugin from the Zotero website. There is now also a standalone version that can be used with other browsers, and a web version that can be used on shared computers, like ones in the library or campus computer labs. If you are using Zotero on a public or shared computer, restart when you are done to avoid anyone making changes to your collections.
To use it, you make an account on the website, download the Firefox extension (or standalone version application) and a plug-in. Then it is integrated into your browser. It adds a Z into your browser toolbar. Click on the Z to open a Zotero pane.
To grab citation information from a website, open the Zotero pane, and click on this icon to "Create Web Page Item from Current Page." Or right click while on the website and an option is Zotero-->Create Web Page Item from Current Page.
To export from subscription databases, choose "Reference Manager." Exports as an .ris file. If you have Zotero installed, click on the RIS file and Zotero will open up. Or obtain the article's DOI and locate the citation within Zotero by DOI.
To export from the VSC Online Catalog, choose Export Record-->Export to Endnote and it will create an .ris file to import into Zotero.
For tablets and mobile devices: App (third party): Zotpad You can access your citations and links, but you can’t add to your account.
Mendeley is another free tool, which is more than a citation manager. You can search within it, and use it to store documents. You can sync your desktop files with Mendeley Web.
To use, you make an account, download “Mendeley desktop,” and install “Mendeley Web Importer” (works like a bookmark; when you click on it, it grabs citation info from webpage). See How to install “web importer.”
To export from subscription databases, choose "Reference Manager." Exports as an .ris file. If you have Mendeley installed, click on the RIS file and Mendeley will open up.
For tablets and mobile devices: Mendeley for iOS (You can access your citations and links and add PDFs to your account). No Android app yet.
Here are some reasons why it's important to cite your sources for academic work
It is important to give people credit for their work. When you cite a source you used in your research you are giving credit to the person whose idea you used or refer to. When you properly cite sources, you are demonstrating responsible scholarship.
You document the sources you use in your research in a works cited list or bibliography at the end of your project. For some projects you will include footnotes or in-text citations wherever you use someone else's idea or language.
What's in a citation
Citations include the information necessary for a reader to locate the original source. There are conventions for different disciplines as to the format of the citations. The American Psychological Associaton sets the conventions for APA style, for example.
For any item (book, article, etc.) included in OneSearch, click on the title. Then, you can get the citation by clicking on
on the right side of the screen. Scroll down for different citation styles.
Click on the title of the source. Look for a link that says "Cite" or "CiteNow" or "Citation Tools."
For pre-formatted citations for books, go to Worldcat.org. Find the book you want to cite. Click on Cite/Export. Click on the + for the style you need (APA, MLA, etc.) Copy and paste the citation!