Friday, October 06, 2006

Zotero Beta Launched

In previous posts I've discussed the great new research tool Zotero [1, 2]. The public beta of the software launched yesterday, with a new website, a blog, user forums and greatly extended documentation including a wiki for developers. Zotero's creators have been busy in the few weeks since I reviewed the pre-release beta. They've added support for reusing tags, made it easier to add notes to saved sources and added a bunch of new fields to the bibliographic records. As before, the interface is clean and quite intuitive and the program works smoothly when you need it and doesn't get in your way when you don't. It's a beautiful piece of work.

Something I hadn't noticed before: Zotero uses the OpenURL framework to provide support for context-sensitive services. This means that you can tell the program to locate a source that you are interested in, and it will look for it in your local library.

The feature list gives you some idea of where Zotero is going (and where you can help take it). Planned features include shared collections, remote library backup, advanced search and data mining tools, a recommendation engine with RSS feeds and word processor integration. Zotero is already much more than bibliographic management software. It is a "platform for new forms of digital research that can be extended with other web tools and services." And it rocks.