Monday, January 28, 2008

Zotero, my dear-o

Y'know those relationships that start with mild curiosity, build through overwhelming passion and develop into slavish devotion. I'm having (another) one of those, and it's with a Firefox plugin called Zotero.

I've never been an Endnote user, and have thus far done all my academic writing in LaTex. The joy of a handcrafted .bib file is hard to beat and yet, and yet...

When there's an icon in Firefox's address bar inviting me to save the bibliographic data for the page I'm on. When the related PDF will be spidered and saved locally, more often than not. When individual entries, or whole sets of entries can be exported in a handy report (which, happily, makes me look very productive to the paper lovers out there). When my husband discovers the M$ W*rd plugin that allows you to use Zotero to build your references automatically...

I still love LaTex - WYGIWYW[1]beats WYSIWIG any day. But I know I'm fighting a losing battle trying to get my current (social sciences) and future (neuro scientist) colleagues to share the love. And so, it's over to Word I go. Don't get me wrong, Zotero will make a .bib file for me too, but it's an enabler, and my path to the dark side is paved with Zotero's good intentions.

I love Zoreto madly, and the fact that it is promiscuous enough to play with the proprietary boys (Word), as well as the kookie, indie crowd (LaTex) just makes me love it all the more.

Zotero: I know true love asks for nothing, but on the day you let me change which fields you add to those fantastic reports you give me, I will swear undying love to you forever.

[1]What you get is what you want