State of the Community

On the eve of our RC1 release, we would like to take the opportunity to thank our user and developer community for its tremendous contribution to the Zotero project. Because so many different groups use and develop Zotero, it’s not always immediately apparent where or when the work is happening. Moreover, as an open project, there is no clear line separating developers from advocates. As a result, a great deal of Zotero thinking and developing often transpires away from at other institutions, in other blogs, and (increasingly frequently) in other languages. All of the following areas have benefited greatly from community participation, and we hope that many more Zotero users will consider joining these efforts or striking out in new directions. We are fortunate to have such a vibrant community of users, and we are optimistic that it will only grow as Zotero matures into a 1.0 release and beyond.

Z Forums
Since October the forums have received more than 1300 posts in 372 distinct threads requesting features, providing feedback, and identifying bugs. Although our core team actively participates in the forums, the forums are hardly a one-way street where users ask and the core team answers. Tremendous community involvement helps to resolve many support questions and other requests: two posters, noksagt and bdarcus, have already contributed more than 50 comments each.

Core Development and Utilities
Zotero’s ticketing system and development roadmap has been open since November to anyone with a registered account. As of this week, it now also offers anonymous browse access. Anyone interested in learning more about the development process or willing to tackle an outstanding ticket is strongly encouraged to join the effort.

Zotero’s open API encourages the creation of utilities layered on top of the core code. Currently there are several teams of developers working to integrate Zotero with popular social bookmarking sites like and reference management sites like Connotea. If you are interested in creating a new utility, please see the relevant documentation.

Site Translators
Since our first beta release last autumn, our user community has tested Zotero with hundreds of library sites and other online resources, and more than a hundred messages to have detailed the results of their efforts.

Zotero now includes dozens of new translators added with the help of our user community, with several entirely written by users like Robert Forkel and Syma. Earlier this month we released Scaffold, an IDE that encourages rapid translator testing and development, and we hope to see even more user-contributed translators soon.

International Support
Zotero currently includes 11 foreign locales, with another two already completed and in the pipeline for RC1 (Traditional Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese). All these locales are user-contributed through BabelZilla and more are already underway (Danish, Hebrew, Turkish). If you have any foreign language abilities, please contribute to the translation effort underway.

Advocates of Zotero have produced user guides in French, German, and Japanese. As we continue to add international locales, we hope to see more foreign-language documentation soon.

Blogs and Reviews
Zotero’s user base continues to grow rapidly, largely thanks to the efforts of our worldwide advocates. For example, the term “Zotero” now appears on more than half a million web pages, up from just 1 before the project went public last October. Thousands of bloggers have shared their Zotero experiences with their readers, and we are grateful for their outreach.

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