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Scholarly communication and Zotero

Scholarly communication and Zotero

For the iSchool Bootcamp, August 2020

Dorothea Salo

August 05, 2020
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  1. Scholarly communication,
    and wrangling it with Zotero
    iSchool Bootcamp
    Dorothea Salo

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  2. Photo: Stiller Beobachter, “tombstone,” https://www.flickr.com/photos/a-herzog/
    24747507548/ CC-BY

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

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  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!

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  5. Corollary to the corollary:
    while you’re here
    you need to learn how to
    “keep current” and
    “remember useful stuff.”

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  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.

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  7. So start picking out some
    memory-aid tools now!
    Zotero is one!
    There are others!
    (Pinboard 4 lyfe!)

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  8. pinboard.in/u:dsalo

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  9. pinboard.in/u:dsalo

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  10. pinboard.in/u:dsalo/t:601

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  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.”

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  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 (datadoubles.org) 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!!!!!

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  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.

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  14. Step 2: Click the button!
    (yes, I have a lot of stuff
    in my browser toolbar)

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  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.

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  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.

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  17. Here’s a news story…

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  18. … which Zotero mangled.
    nope! news story!
    sorry, what?!
    oof, need this date!

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  19. Better!
    ISO 8601!
    YYYY-MM-DD
    the one true and honest
    date format!
    use it always!

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  20. 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.)

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  21. Click “Document Preferences.”

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  22. In Google Docs…

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  23. 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!

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  24. … wait, I did get a screenshot!

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