Zotero is a new plugin for Firefox 2 (it won’t work in earlier versions). It enables you, essentially, to split your screen and take extensive bibliographic notes much like those in EndNotes, RefWorks or other bibliographic software. You’re presented with three columns: the leftmost for your folders and subfolders, the central for basic information about items within those folders, and the rightmost for the items themselves. Items stored in Zotero can be labelled in a large number of ways — book, journal article… map, podcast… etc. — with new labels being added as the product is developed. (It seems they’re going to enable a user to define categories, so it will be possible to create Canadian legal labels I hope.)

You can do many more things with Zotero than I can describe here. Besides, I’m still exploring it. But let me say that you can, for example, link to any file on your computer or store a copy of any file in your Zotero database, take a snapshot of any website, capture certain bibliographic information automatically when Zotero finds it on a web page, and gain access to all of your stored information even when you’re offline.

This is a seriously elaborate application, currently in beta (as what isn’t?) and busy taking feedback from users via a discussion forum. I imagine that if in the next little while you had an interest in getting it to include certain features or develop a certain capacity the makers would be glad to respond.

Another good reason to go to Firefox.

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