This is an exciting release.
In a single stroke, Zotero may have added the most important feature of online apps such as citeUlike (collaboration) and the best feature of Mendeley (metadata extraction). I have no idea how well these work, as I have just moved to zotero recently and don’t want to risk trying the beta this soon, but if they work well, this is a quantum leap.
Here’s a list of the new features:
Automatic synchronization of collections across multiple computers. For example, sync your PC at work with your Mac laptop and your Linux desktop at home. Free automatic backup of your library data at Zotero.org. Automatic synchronization of your attachment files to a server of your choice (e.g. iDisk, Jungle Disk, or university-provided web storage). Recover recently deleted items with Zotero’s trash can. Rich-text notes New style manager allowing you to add and delete CSLs and legacy style formats Automatic detection of PDF metadata (author, title, etc.) Automatic detection and support for proxy servers
New Website Features
Browse through your library online. New user profiles tied to Zotero accounts. Preliminary support for following other Zotero users: In the future this will generate a twitter-like feed of users public research activity. WYSIWYG CV creator, with the ability to dynamically generate all or part of your CV from Zotero collections. Search for friends, colleagues, and other users by institutional affiliation, username, email address, or field of interest.
I’ve been using endNote for about 6 years now, so I have experience a hard case of vendor lock-in (I have plenty of text with references in the endNote format. This is giving me a really bad feeling about endNote makers, and the money I have invested in a clearly inferior product doesn’t make me happy either. Suing Zotero was the last drop. I finally moved to Zotero out of principle. What I find funny is that zotero uses less memory with the same database size, even building on top of Firefox. And Word integration is as good, if not better, than endNote’s.