Get Started with a Citation Management System (Zotero)

Why use a Citation Management System?

A CMS can ensure the accuracy of citations and bibliographies while keeping all used and potential sources organized.

What is a Citation Management System?

A Citation Management System (CMS) is a software that allows input of information about sources used in research and then is able to manipulate that information to create and manage the use of those sources. For example, Zotero can collect information about many articles, news stories, television shows, books, and much more, then create a bibliography in a word document for only the sources used in that document.

Visual Examples from Word and Zotero

In order to better understand what a CMS looks like and how it might be used, some examples are pictures below.

Which one should I pick?

Although there are many types and forms of Citation management systems, cloud connected systems with integrations that allow for handling a very wide variety of sources is what is recommended for work at WFU. The most feature rich, easy to learn, and well supported systems are Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote Web.

Among those, Zotero is available for free to anyone, has strong support at WFU, and WFU provides unlimited storage extending the usefulness of the tool beyond simple citation management. Various users at WFU have decided that EndNote and Mendeley better fit their needs, usually due to legacy repositories or collaboration with current users of those systems.

If you are not sure that Zotero is the correct choice for your work, call your ITG to help assess potential benefits of alternatives for your specific needs. An ITG can also help understand how a tool like Zotero will fit into your current workflow.

Support and Resources at WFU for Zotero

Faculty in the college can reach out to their ITG Member for support at any point with a Citation Management System. All ITGs have knowledge of how to install and use Zotero. If a college faculty member opts to use another system then their ITG can work with the faculty member to ensure they are able to use the system.

For staff and faculty outside the college, as well as those in the college, there are extensive resources in the ZSR library.

See the following guide from ZSR:

ZSR’s Zotero YouTube Playlist, 15 minutes with everything you need to get to work with Zotero!

Unlimited Storage! Compliments of ZSR! Now you can store unlimited PDFs, images, and as many sources as you can find.

Register for a Workshop with ZSR:

ZSR Library offers Zotero workshops regularly. The next available workshops may be at the start of the next semester. If none of the workshops available on the above form work for your schedule or there are no workshops currently scheduled, reach out to your ITG for individual consultation.

Categories: Tech Tip