zotero love…. but actually I’m not that fussy!

Anything that helps to manage references is a Good Thing.

Anything that helps to manage references that is free is a Very Good Thing.

In Cambridge the Very Good Things include Zotero, Mendeley and EndnoteWeb (but only because someone else paid the money), and the Good Things include EndNote and Reference Manager (which is actually not that high on my list of Good Things normally, but that might be because I don’t use it as much as the others).

Other Good Things might include Papers (for Mac only), CiteULike, Connotea (after a fashion), RefWorks….

There’s a really good comparison of functionality in Wikipedia andI’ve blogged elsewhere about a great comparison by Martin Fenner

I offer training sessions on Zotero, Mendeley & both versions of EndNote, and will turn my hand to training in reference manager if I can go to the person’s office and they’ve got it loaded on their computer. I specifically give training on EndnoteWeb to the small proportion of Part II students I see.

I’ve written rough guides to Zotero (needs updating!) and EndNoteWeb, I’ve enbedded  Mendeley reference lists in department pages (will be going live shortly – I’ll add a link when it is live), I’ve shared references  in EndNoteWeb with colleagues in Sheffield when we were writing a paper together.

All of which sounds like outrageous boasting (sorry!). They’re all just really really good tools, so the more we can support researchers and postgraduates, and indeed anyone else who’s writing a piece of work with a significant number of references, or gathering a large number of references together for any reason – the better. It makes us much more broadly skilled, and relevant and useful for more people. (read my previous rantings if you really want to get more of an idea…)

Things that drive me mad are

  • when the reference wont go into zotero or mendeley and you only get a screen shot;
  • when you can only download a limited number of references from a database (eg Ebsco access to PsycInfo has a library imposed (yes I have complained!) limit of 50 articles per set – imagine my mood when I had 300 articles to add to Mendeley
  • when there’s a mixture of abreviated journal names and full journal names – makes for messy referencing!
  • that I can’t get the public shared collections in Mendeley to present themselves in chronological order (an email to mendeley support is on my to do list)
  • that I can’t always get RIS files to import to mendeley (an email to mendeley support etc…)
  • that I just haven’t spent enough time to really get to grips – so I can get people started, but can’t help them with the more advanced functions… ah well, isn’t that just life!

they’re all great – it’s just chosing which one that can be tricky!


9 Responses to zotero love…. but actually I’m not that fussy!

  1. Matt says:

    # when the reference wont go into zotero or mendeley and you only get a screen shot;

    Do you have examples of sites which this is the case for zotero?

    • ilk21 says:

      I’ll have a dig around for this and come back to you with screen shots – sometimes it happens on bulk uploads (esp for mendeley) and when you see individual records it’s fine (eg copac, eg pubmed, eg ebsco) but will get give screenshot examples next week.

  2. I’m definitely coming to you when I have Zotero/Mendeley questions! I had a very prompt and helpful reply when I emailed support@mendeley.com last week, so get on and ask them about those issues!

  3. Mr. Gunn says:

    Looking at the right sidebar, it looks like you’re having some issues getting the collection to display.

    What you want to do is to go to the page on the collection at Mendeley Web. For example, a page like this: http://www.mendeley.com/research-papers/collections/40514/Social-Network-Analysis/ then click on the “Embed on other websites” button, and copy and paste the code that appears in the box below.

    Let’s see if it will show the code below…

    Research papers collected using Mendeley
    • ilk21 says:

      Hi Mr Gunn,
      sorry I’ve not replied sooner – I’ve been having therapy for my disappointment that the public collections in Mendeley can’t be presented chronologically, and so are no good for the use I was putting them to in a departmental webpage. Your people got back to me very promptly when I emailed the support desk, so thank you to them, but it still stands – can’t use Mendeley, so I had to transfer all the data to …. gasp… endnote.
      The feeds down the side of this blog were just an experiment, so have removed them.
      thanks for your helpful tweets though. I will be back to Mendeley, and will continue to offer sessions on using it for the postgrads here in Cambridge.

      • Mr. Gunn says:

        Hi Isla! I just wanted to come back to fill you in on some things regarding the order of collections. We’re working now on improving the sort order, but right now the collection is displayed in the order that items were added to it. Not the best, I know, but if you have a collection that will remain static, you could at least get going now by adding the items to the collection in chronological order.

        I’ll let you know when the date sorting becomes available.

  4. Mr. Gunn says:

    Sort options for collections are also on the agenda, but I can’t promise a date yet.

  5. […] interesting and good to keep in mind when working on the Tower Project blog. zotero love…. but actually I’m not that fussy! « musings of a medical librarian In Cambridge the Very Good Things include Zotero, Mendeley and EndnoteWeb (but only because someone […]

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