Scholarly communication and Zotero

Scholarly communication and Zotero

For the iSchool Bootcamp, August 2020


Dorothea Salo

August 05, 2020


  1. Scholarly communication, and wrangling it with Zotero iSchool Bootcamp Dorothea

  2. Photo: Stiller Beobachter, “tombstone,” 24747507548/ CC-BY

  3. Photo: mine, reuse it if you want!

  4. Corollary: you will not learn everything you ever need to

    know here! Not everything you will need to know is presently known! And things change!
  5. Corollary to the corollary: while you’re here you need to

    learn how to “keep current” and “remember useful stuff.”
  6. Corollary to the corollary to the corollary: your own head

    is not big enough to contain all the useful stuff you’ll need to remember.
  7. So start picking out some memory-aid tools now! Zotero is

    one! There are others! (Pinboard 4 lyfe!)



  11. Citation: what it’s for • Courtesy to those who came

    before you • We all stand on the shoulders of giants! • Convenience for those who come after you! • Credit (especially relevant in workplace assessment) • I’m academic staff, not faculty, so I am not assessed on how often my publications are cited. (I am assessed on whether I produce publications!) • iSchool faculty are assessed on this in tenure and promotion processes. (Not all by itself, of course! But still.) So is the iSchool as a whole. • If you end up working in a tenure environment, future academic librarians or full-time iSchool instructors/faculty… you could be too! • Conversation, like @-ing somebody on social media. “Hi, I’m quoting/commenting on this thing you wrote.”
  12. Citation styles • if you’re thinking “ugh, can’t I just

    link?” I’m with you… but no. • In scholarly and professional writing, citation is a highly rule-driven activity. • Irritatingly, there are lots of different sets of rules citation styles! • When my current research group ( discusses where we want to publish our results, “what’s that journal’s citation style?” is actually one of the questions we ask! • Don’t try to cite by hand. You will hate yourself. And us! And scholarly communication! • Use Zotero. USE ZOTERO. USE ZOTERO!!!!!
  13. Step 1: Have Zotero open • You can’t use the

    in-browser Zotero Connector button to save stuff to Zotero unless Zotero is running. • You also can’t put citations in a document unless Zotero is running. • So when you’re working on an iSchool assignment involving citations, get in the habit of starting Zotero first! • Honestly… I have it in my Mac’s “Login Items” preferences, so it starts up whenever I reboot. • I am a GIANT NERD, however. You don’t absolutely have to do this.
  14. Step 2: Click the button! (yes, I have a lot

    of stuff in my browser toolbar)
  15. Step 2a: Decide on a folder • I have per-project

    folders and a catchall folder in my Zotero. • You… don’t necessarily need to do this. • I don’t love how Zotero moves/copies citations — I commonly end up with a lot of duplicated ones, some of which are slightly wrong. • So if you want to leave all your citations in one giant pile, I won’t argue! This can work fine! • If you do, though, select the correct folder before you start using Zotero Connector.
  16. Step 3: Check Zotero’s work • Sometimes it’s beautiful. Sometimes

    it’s wretched. • (This isn’t Zotero’s fault — it’s a question of how nicely the website plays with Zotero, really.) • ALWAYS check news stories and blog/social media posts you put into Zotero. • Books and journal articles usually work better. Not always, but usually. • Zotero calls a lot of things a “Web Page” that are actually reports, news stories, journal articles… • It matters because citation styles treat these differently! • Always fix this mistake when you see it! • Check capitalization in titles. This is style-dependent! Some styles want Title Case For Everything. Others don’t.
  17. Yes!

  18. Here’s a news story…

  19. … which Zotero mangled. nope! news story! sorry, what?! oof,

    need this date!
  20. Better! ISO 8601! YYYY-MM-DD the one true and honest date

    format! use it always!
  21. Yay, citations! Now what? • Now you actually put them

    in what you’re writing. • YOU NEED TO KNOW WHICH CITATION STYLE YOU’RE USING FIRST. • LIS is a hybrid discipline! We have humanists, social scientists, and “hard” scientists. This means we use a lot of different citation styles! I’m sorry! • If you ever have me as an instructor: I DON’T CARE, pick your favorite. But other iSchool instructors care a lot, so if we don’t specify, ASK. • (In my publishing life, I’ve mostly had to use APA, but Chicago and MLA have also come up. I mostly publish social-science-y stuff, a little humanities.)
  22. In Word…

  23. Click “Document Preferences.”

  24. In Google Docs…

  25. Adding a citation • (sorry, screenshotting this is really annoying

    to do) • Put your cursor where you want the footnote/endnote callout or in-text citation. • This, too, varies by citation style! • From the Zotero menu, pick “Add/Edit Citation.” • You will (… eventually; this can be slow) get a red-bordered search box. Search in it for what you want to cite. • Title, author, whatever — Zotero looks in everything it’s got. • Zotero should show you a list of possible citations. • Select the one you want. Wait for Zotero to insert it. Done!
  26. … wait, I did get a screenshot!

  27. Questions?