Sunday, October 21, 2007

Zotero Might Change my Life...

I must admit that I am becoming increasingly addicted to the digital world. I love the ease in which I can quickly scope out what has been written on the topics I am researching by using an internet search engine. It makes me enraged when such searches are hindered due to slow internet access, or if wireless internet is not available and I am forced to sit wherever I can plug in. I also cannot imagine what it would be like to do research without access to online journals via JSTOR. In fact, it makes me mad when I have to go to the library to photocopy journal articles that have not been digitized. Furthermore, Zotero, a Firefox extension that allows users to capture and organize web pages, is a research device which I have recently been introduced to, and is changing the way I organize my research.

I am well aware that this all makes me sound like a hypocrite after so strongly professing my attachment and enduring love for smelly books in one of my previous posts. But I am sticking with my belief that books and computers work together. For instance when it comes to a long read, I will always prefer reading off of paper as opposed to on a screen. But when doing initial research and searches for information, I always rely heavily on the internet.

In this way, I think that Zotero has the possibility of changing the way I do research. Before Zotero I filled bookmark folders with random websites that I thought I might eventually, sort of, kind of, maybe use for an upcoming project. Zotero allows the user to add notes to folders so that they can document, amongst other things, why they thought they might need that information. In addition, as my previous rage towards slow or inconvenient internet access made clear, being able to use the information stored on Zotero while offline is a major asset. The best part, however, is the cleanliness of it all. I waste so many sheets of paper jotting down bibliographic information, websites, and book titles. Now I can store all of these things neatly on Zotero. I am still figuring out all that Zotero has to offer me, but so far, I think Zotero might change my life.

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