Thanks to my Twitter network, I learn about interesting, funny, stunning, awesome, academic things to do, to read, to view, to reflect upon, and to wonder about.

Last night, I saw @zotero‘s latest post on a new plugin that would allow Zotero users to export library collections to the web. As I am a happy Zotero user as it facilitates the process of taking bibliographic notes, I needed to check this plug-in out with which one can upload connections to the internet.

Mike Wesch wrote a blog post on “The Digital Ethnographer’s Notebook: Diigo vs. Evernote vs. Tiddlywiki” In the comment section, Zotero was introduced to the discussion and with the just released plug-in Zotz, got points for moving into the online world.

Zotz allos users to publish collections from their Zotero library to Citeline of MIT. After a collection is uploaded to Citeline, one can change the appearance, title and what others would be allowed to see. The thus created page can be downloaded as an html file to be used on an intranet for example. Furthermore, the references can be saved as files to be imported in bibliographic manager software for further use.

That is a great start to share a (part of a) Zotero library with others. I assume that the development on Citeline will continue. There is a lot of potential because right now it is rather static beyond the basic editing options and thus there is space to grow:

  • The link to the exhibit (Citeline’s word for what Zotero calls collection) can be shared through an URL and the exhibit can be downloaded for use somewhere else. However, there is no way for me to tell Citeline whether I would like to keep the URL private or public.
  • You can only delete an entire library, but not individual entries.
  • You cannot add items to an already existing exhibit.
  • People with whom you share your Citeline exhibit cannot make comments.
  • Special characters are a slight problem. They got messed up during the upload.
  • You cannot update an entry on Citeline. This is not good esp. in light of the previous point. You would have to correct the letter to its English equivalent in Zotero and upload the entire collection again but to a new exhibit and re-do all the fine-tuning on Citeline.
  • You cannot search across of exhibits of one person.
  • Other “social networking” features could be helpful, e.g. adding people to your network to keep track of their exhibits. Saving exhibits of other people, being alerted when they created a new exhibit.

Despite this list of it-would-be-great-to-have-that features, and I can think of some more easily, I already like this plug-in because it allows me to share references with others in an easy way and let them know about some of my favorite funny YouTube videos.


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