Friday, 13 August 2010

Zotero - an adventure in syncronization

My Zotero Library synced

I am experimenting using Zotero to create annotated bibliographies of resources held at the Centre of South Asian Studies.  I am creating 'collections' within 'My Library' for different courses.  I was especially impressed by the simplicity of downloading records from Newton (remembering to click on the permanent URL link first) and have added the Centre's classmarks to the Call number field (I used the Universal catalogue to check references, so often imported classmarks from other libraries in this field.).

It soon became apparent that the most useful feature of Zotero to me was its ability to synce files.  You need to create a user account for this to happen, but once logged in and preferences set to synce files, Zotero will syncronize my collections/Library on any PCs I use, so that I can add items to my booklists when working at the UL, for example, and then when I log in at the Centre (so long as I have changed the preferences for my account there too), find the additional entries fully integrated .

I have yet to use/migrate these bibliographies, and hope this will be as straight forward as creating them.

As with the other new software I have used doing 23 Things, working in two places really does double the amount of time you have to spend on each Thing, as so often you need to download the relevant software, and change preferences etc. on each PC.  Please consider running the 23 Things programme over a much longer period next year, as it really has been too rushed to explore ways in which we can use each Thing in our busy work schedules.  I have yet to look at all the links to uses Cambridge libraries have already made of Zotero, and have already devoted many extra hours to this software.

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