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The Mark of ZOTERO

Jeremy Young at Progressive Historians had a must read post on ZOTERO an emerging Web 2.0 tool for anyone out there doing academic research or analysis with even semi-serious intent:

Dan Cohen Lecture at IU

This afternoon, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a lecture by Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Since the untimely death of Roy Rosenzweig, Cohen has been the most recognizable face of the digital history revolution. He’s a real hero to history bloggers and digital historians alike.Cohen was an engaging speaker who mixed the infectious enthusiasm of a tech geek with the persuasive rhetoric of an entrepreneur — which is essentially what he is, only for the nonprofit tool Zotero, which he developed under Rosenzweig’s oversight. Much of the lecture was focused on Zotero and its emerging possibilities. Cohen informed us that Zotero was busily at work solving the historical problem of our time: the overabundance of data. Zotero is designed to sift through mountains of data and find things relevant to historians’ research interests. It’s now been translated into thirty-six languages, including Icelandic and Mongolian. Cohen said the latest developments include recommendation-sharing among historians and various forms of Web 2.0 social networking, including various plugins to Zotero that have been developed by programmers not affiliated with CHNM. Listening to Cohen go on about the endless possibilities felt like listening to Steve Wozniak in the days of the Apple ][ — incredibly cool, but not a little daunting.

Read the rest here.

Here is an intro video to Zotero. Comments from the techies in the readership are solicited:

5 Responses to “The Mark of ZOTERO”

  1. Drew Conway Says:

    Wow, that is a great tool!  I feel embarrassed that I have never seen/heard of it before.

  2. zen Says:

    Yeah, I felt pretty much like an idiot myself. Not that I’m a computer geek but I make an effort to keep an eye on the Web 2.0/Geek community at least some of the time watch for new apps and here’s one coming from the same group that publishes HNN.  D’OH!

  3. SCS Says:

    I use Zotero frequently.  It’s freeware.  I’m in the habit of using freeware since it’s usually more reliable than the commercial junk that costs money.

    The whole "Web 2.0" aspect isn’t as interesting to me as building a Semantic Web.

  4. fabius.maximus.cunctator Says:


    I am neither an academic (despite some law lecturing on the side) nor a historian, nor  indeed a techie but if that thing does a just third of what the Zotero site say it does it will be quite invaluable. Great find I think – thx for another good idea found in this place.

  5. Tim Stevens Says:

    About every six months I try Zotero out once again. Just can’t get to grips with it. Great idea, but it just ain’t sticking with me. Yet. I’ll give it another shot.

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