Zotero, www.zotero.org, is free bibliographic software that is downloaded onto a user’s computer and used with the Mozilla Firefox browser. Whenever a user is viewing content that has bibliographic data associated with it, such as a title or an author, a symbol will appear at the end of the URL. This lets the user know that the bibliographic information can be recorded by Zotero. The user can collect, manage, cite, and share sources. Files, images, PDFs, and links can also be saved. It is possible to organize the citations into collections and to assign tags or record notes. Zotero offers the major bibliographic styles, and the user can select the desired style, such as APA. Citations can be emailed, posted to a blog, or copied into a word processor. It is also possible to share Zotero libraries with others and to find researchers with similar interests.
Instruction librarians can teach the use of Zotero to incoming freshman as a part of general education courses that require students to write research papers, such as introductory composition classes or history classes. If students learn about this resource early in their college careers, they will no doubt take advantage of its features, and it will help them with organization of references. To improve Zotero, it needs to be easier to take a library from one computer to another. I attempted to do so, but it was not intuitive, and I do not think I did it correctly.