Sunday, September 22, 2013

Citation Nirvana for Research Students on Android, PC and Mac

I was wrestling with citations for my current masters subject on Evernote the other day. I find the research capabilities of Evernote brilliant, especially as a premium user. The ability to just slam anything into Evernote, organise it and then do my work without having to remember where everything is does wonders for my mental health.

Where Evernote absolutely fails as a manager for research papers is in the area of citations. I have tried all sorts of tricks and no cigar.

So there I was, on the train to work a few days ago, bouncing between Evernote and LibreOffice (when will you build and Android version!?), wrestling with my citations and my train buddy says to me "Why don't you use Zotero?"
Don't you love those serendipitous moments when your life takes a drastic new course? You can imagine my response. "Zote what?" I quickly download the Mac version (Windows, Mac and Linux versions of the clients are all free, costs are associated with the storage of documents). You download the relevant clipper item for your browser toolbar Safari, Firefox and my preference, Chrome) and you are off and running.

What completely placed the delicious icing on the cake for me this morning was discovering the Zotero Scanner for my Android phone. Point the sucker at the book in question (as long as the app which set me back a cool $2.40 AU, and Barcode Scanner app are installed) and I was able to add another 17 books to my bibliography in under 10 minutes.

Scan the books on my phone, sync the desktop client, select all the volumes and request a bibliography in Chicago (Note) format and I am in citation heaven.

Yes, I don't get out very much but with this new development, perhaps I will!?

Scotty, peace out for our random train encounter. You are still a legend in my book!



So much for a week...