The quality of your work depends on the quality of your sources. When you are working on a small piece of research, it is possible to manage your sources and references in an informal way. However, once you start to work with ten or more sources, on projects which take several weeks or months, it can become difficult to remember which information came from where and how to access it again.
The solution to this difficulty is to use an online reference manager. There are several different reference managers but one of the best is Zotero. Zotero allows you to “collect, organize, and analyze research and share it in a variety of ways”:
- You can download and store online resources at the click of a button.
- You can organize your source material by topic or course.
- Zotero will help you create your end of text reference list and in-text citations.
- Zotero can optionally synchronize across your different devices
- If you are working on a group project, you can share and retrieve all the team’s sources.
The basic version of Zotero is free to download and it may save you time and avoid frustration trying to find that all-important piece of information you discovered weeks ago.
Learn how to use Zotero with this quick start guide.
ZoteroBib is a free service that helps you quickly create a bibliography in any citation style.