Archive for the 'Features' Category

Zotero 4.0.27: Streamlined saving, easier bibliography language selection, and more

Zotero 4.0.27, now available, brings some major new features, as well as many other improvements and bug fixes.

Streamlined saving (Zotero for Firefox)

In Zotero for Firefox, it’s now easier than ever to save items from webpages.

Zotero senses information on webpages through bits of code called site translators, which work with most library catalogs, popular websites such as Amazon and the New York Times, and many gated databases.

In the past, there have been two different ways of saving web sources to Zotero:

  • If Zotero detected a reference on a webpage, you could click an icon in the address bar — for example, a book icon on Amazon or a journal article icon on a publisher’s site — to save high-quality metadata for the reference to your Zotero library.
  • If a site wasn’t supported or a site translator wasn’t working, you could still save any webpage to your Zotero library by clicking the “Create Web Page Item from Current Page” button in the Zotero for Firefox toolbar or by right-clicking on the page background and choosing “Save Page to Zotero”. In such cases, you might need to fill in some details that Zotero couldn’t automatically detect.

In Zotero 4.0.27, we’ve combined the address bar icon and the “Create Web Page Item from Current Page” button into a single save button in the Firefox toolbar, next to the existing Z button for opening the Zotero pane.

Hovering over the new save button on a New York Times article
The new save button on a New York Times article


(Don’t be confused by the book icon in the address bar in the top left — that’s a new Firefox feature, unrelated to Zotero.)

You can click the new save button on any webpage to create an item in your Zotero library, and Zotero will automatically use the best available method for saving data. If a translator is available, you’ll get high-quality metadata; if not, you’ll get basic info such as title, access date, and URL, and you can edit the saved item to add additional information from the webpage. The icon will still update to show you what Zotero found on the page, and, as before, you can hover over it to see which translator, if any, will be used.

This also means that a single shortcut key — Cmd+Shift+S (Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+S (Windows/Linux) by default — can be used to save from any webpage.

The new save button also features a drop-down menu for accessing additional functionality, such as choosing a non-default translator or looking up a reference in your local (physical) library without even saving it to Zotero.

Save menu with options for saving using JSTOR or DOI translator
Additional save options

(This functionality was previously available by right-clicking on the address bar icon, though if you knew that, you surely qualify for some sort of prize.) The new menu will be used for more functionality in the future, so stay tuned.

Prefer another layout? In addition to the new combined toolbar buttons, Zotero provides separate buttons for opening Zotero and saving sources that can be added using Firefox’s Customize mode.

Separate toolbar buttons
Custom button layout

With the separate buttons, you can hide one or the other button and rely on a keyboard shortcut, move the buttons into the larger Firefox menu panel, or even move the new save button between the address bar and search bar, close to its previous position. (Since the new save button works on every page, it no longer makes sense for it to be within the address bar itself, but by using the separate buttons you can essentially recreate the previous layout.)

While all the above changes apply only to Zotero for Firefox for now, similar changes will come to the Chrome and Safari connectors for Zotero Standalone users in a future version. For now, Zotero Standalone users can continue to use the address bar (Chrome) or toolbar (Safari) icon to save recognized webpages and right-click (control-click on Macs) on the page background and choose “Save Page to Zotero” to save basic info for any other page.

Easier bibliography language selection

Making Zotero accessible to users around the world has always been a priority. Thanks to a global community of volunteers in the Zotero and Citation Style Language (CSL) projects, you can use the Zotero interface and also generate citations in dozens of different languages.

Now, thanks to community developers Rintze Zelle and Aurimas Vinckevicius, it’s much easier to switch between different languages when generating citations.

Previously, Zotero would automatically use the language of the Zotero user interface — generally the language of either Firefox or the operating system — when generating citations. While you’ve always been able to generate citations using a different language, doing so required changing a hidden preference.

You can now set the bibliography language at the same time you choose a citation style, whether you’re using Quick Copy, Create Bibliography from Selected Items, or the word processor plugins.

Selecting 'Français (France)' for the bibliography language
Choosing a bibliography language for Quick Copy


In the above example, even though the user interface is in English, the default Quick Copy language is being set to French. If an item is then dragged from Zotero into a text field, the resulting citation will be in French, using French terms instead of English ones (e.g., “édité par” instead of “edited by”).

The new language selector is even more powerful when using the word processor plugins. The bibliography language chosen for a document is stored in the document preferences, allowing you to use different languages in different documents — say, U.S. English for a document you’re submitting to an American journal and Japanese for a paper for a conference in Japan.

Note that, of the thousands of CSL styles that Zotero supports, not all can be localized. If a journal or style guide calls for a specific language, the language drop-down will be disabled and citations will always be generated using the required language. For example, selecting the Nature style will cause Zotero to use the “English (UK)” locale in all cases, as is required by Nature’s style guide.

Other changes

Zotero now offers an “Export Library…” option for group libraries, allowing the full collection hierarchy to be easily exported. If you find yourself facing many sync conflicts, you can now choose to resolve all conflicts with changes from one side or the other. For Zotero Standalone users, we’ve improved support for saving attachments from Chrome and Safari on many sites, bringing site compatibility closer to that of Zotero for Firefox. And we’ve resolved various issues that were preventing complete syncs for some people.

There’s too much else to discuss here, but see the changelog for the full list of changes.

Get it now

If you’re already using Zotero, your copy of Zotero should update to the new version automatically, or you can update manually from the Firefox Add-ons pane or by selecting the “Check for Updates” menu option in Zotero Standalone. If you’re not yet using Zotero, try it out today.

Zotero Apps Go Mobile

Over the past few weeks, a spate of paid and free Android and iPhone apps have appeared that extend and enrich the Zotero research ecosystem. Here are four of the most exciting mobile applications now available:

Zandy

Zandy 1 Zandy 2

Zandy is well on its way to being the first full-featured mobile Zotero application for Android devices. Users can currently edit and view their Zotero libraries, add new items, and work offline. Future releases promise even more functionality.


Scanner for Zotero

Scanner for Zotero 1 Scanner for Zotero 2

Scanner for Zotero lets you add books to your Zotero library from anywhere, with no need to have Zotero installed anywhere. Simply scan a book’s ISBN barcode with your Android phone, and the software will add the book to your Zotero library directly on our servers.


BibUp

BibUp 1 BibUp 2

BibUp allows iPhone users to add books to their Zotero libraries much like Scanner for Zotero, and it also provides the additional functionality of photographing specific pages to be collected, on which BibUp will even perform OCR.


ZotFile

ZotFile

ZotFile Reader eases the transfer of Zotero-based PDFs to and from mobile readers like Android devices and the iPad. It builds on the success of the original ZotFile extension, which significantly enhances Zotero’s built-in PDF management by automating the attachment of PDFs to Zotero items, and the renaming of those files according to user-configurable rules. The latest beta version of ZotFile combines all of this functionality into a single extension.

As amazing as these projects are, the traffic on the Zotero developers mailing list suggests that we can expect even more exciting developments in the near future!

Zotero Basics: Getting Stuff Into Zotero

There are tons of ways to get, books, articles, web pages, and any other kind of item into Zotero. So many, in fact, that we thought we needed this to make this short screencast.  It covers six ways to get things into Zotero. You might just be surprised at how many ways there are to get information into your Zotero library.

Getting Stuff Into Zotero from zotero on Vimeo.

The video covers the following six ways to get things into Zotero:

1. Location Bar Icons: When you visit library websites, journal databases, and many other Zotero enabled sites you can click the icons that appear in the location bar to save citation information in your Zotero library.

2. Create New Item from Current Page button: Clicking the Create New Item from Current Page button in the Zotero toolbar creates a web page item and archives a copy of the page for you to return to later.

3. Retrieve Metadata for PDFs: Zotero can also attempt to identify PDFs you have saved to your computer. Just drag them into the middle column, right click on them and select “Retrieve Metadata for PDF”. If Zotero can find the PDF in Google Scholar, it will add its citation information to your Zotero library.

4. Look up Items by Unique Identifier: If have a DOI, ISBN, or PubMed ID Zotero can look up its citation information.

5. Manually Adding Items: Click the green New Item button in the Zotero toolbar and select the appropriate item type to add a blank item to your library. You can fill in the data in the right column.

6. Importing Records from Other Tools: Many users come to Zotero with extensive collections stored in other reference management software. To import entire collections into Zotero, click on the gear icon and select “Import.” Browse to your file, select it, and click open.

Follow Libraries and Collections with Feeds

Anyone with a feed reader can now follow public Zotero libraries simply by clicking the feed icon at the right-hand side of the browser address bar. Feeds are generated at the library and collection level, and for group libraries as well as individual libraries.

This feature provides a great way for people both inside and outside the Zotero community to keep track of the latest and greatest additions to libraries and collections, and it will work with any browser and feed reader.

Zotero 1.5 Beta Released: Join Us In The Clouds

We are excited to announce two major releases. This morning the Zotero team launched both Zotero 1.5 and the first release of Zotero’s web application. Watch the screencast below for details on 1.5 and see the list below for a brief list of Zotero’s new features.


    Zotero 1.5 Features


  • Automatic synchronization of collections across multiple computers. For example, sync your PC at work with your Mac laptop and your Linux desktop at home.

  • Free automatic backup of your library data at Zotero.org.

  • Automatic synchronization of your attachment files to a server of your choice (e.g. iDisk, Jungle Disk, or university-provided web storage).

  • Recover recently deleted items with Zotero’s trash can.

  • Rich-text notes

  • New style manager allowing you to add and delete CSLs and legacy style formats

  • Automatic detection of PDF metadata (author, title, etc.)

  • Automatic detection and support for proxy servers

  • New Website Features


  • Browse through your library online.

  • New user profiles tied to Zotero accounts.

  • Preliminary support for following other Zotero users: In the future this will generate a twitter-like feed of users public research activity.

  • WYSIWYG CV creator, with the ability to dynamically generate all or part of your CV from Zotero collections.

  • Search for friends, colleagues, and other users by institutional affiliation, username, email address, or field of interest.