Firefox integrated reference manager Zotero (which I have posted previously about here) put out a new version last week. Highlights include inpage HTML highlighting and annotation, improved search, autorenaming of PDF’s, and integration with MS Word (Pc and MAC). No sign of online social bookmarking, but its on the horizon. The changelog is here.
The continuing usefulness of Zotero is enhanced by a growing number of “scrapers” designed for various on- line article repositories, reference databases and libraries. This year brought Sciencedirect and others (for a full list see here). What this means is that on compatible sites, you see a little icon on the address bar. Clicking that automatically stores the reference with abstract, the HTML article, and the PDF (if there is access), and it will automatically name the PDF (e.g. author-date-truncated title). Zotero allows easy i-tunes like virtual folder organisation, and tagging. This makes Zotero not only a superb reference manager, but a way to manage your PDF collection. Now, for any academic PDF I find on the web, I store it via the scrapers with minimal effort, or if found outside those sites (e.g. an author’s website) I grab the reference from google scholar (which is Zotero compatible), then download the PDF as a “snapshot” and associate it with the reference. You can also link to, or copy into the zotero system, PDF’s from your file system. There don’t seem to be any good applications out there for managing PDF collections, so Zotero could be the one to fulfill that need.