Amazing Research Tool

Zotero ( is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work - in the web browser itself. Zotero integrates these tools, bringing you the benefits of an online tool and the security of storing all of your information locally for access at anytime. I have been looking for a research tool where I could keep my notes, attachments, and links right in the browser.

Zotero is a Firefox extension that you can download to Firefox 2.0 and later versions. After you download Zotero it appears on the bottom right of your browser.

When you click on the Zotero icon, the interface opens and you can view your collections while you keep the browser open.

You can open the full screen so you can see all of your collections or keep the collections at the bottom of your browser. The left column lets you create folders and subfolders for your collections and saved searches. You can drag and drop items into multiple folders so you can have items in different collections. When you click on the collection, the items in those folders will appear in the second column. When you highlight an item in the center column, the information in that item appears in the right column for you to take notes, add tags, etc.

When you get to a page that you are interested in, click on the folder you want to put the page. To capture the page, click on the icon in the address bar and that page will be added to your collection to the center column. Info appears about the page and you can add or edit information, notes, attachments, tags, and related files.

You can take notes about the page and edit notes which opens a pop-up window that you can float right above the page as you write the notes. You can attach most files like Word, Excel, or image files important to your research. If you bring in pages from library databases, the headings automatically convert those headings to tags. You can highlight the text in a webpage and use sticky notes to summarize the text.

You can export your notes along with citations of the source. Your notes can then be exported as a report.

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