If you have ever tried to compile a bibliography by hand, you know that it is not an easy task, even with a small bibliography. Zotero (zoh-TAIR-oh) offers a free, simple, and effective solution to writers.

Zotero allows users to compile collections of research material:

  • Blog posts.
  • Books.
  • Conference papers.
  • Dictionary entries.
  • Interviews.
  • Journal articles.
  • Letters.
  • Maps.
  • Patents.
  • Statutes.
  • Theses.
  • Much more!

By filling out the fields (title, author, publisher, date, etc.) in advance, you can save a considerable amount of time. One resource can be cited in multiple works without any need to reenter the same information all over again.

Zotero comes installed with a few common citation styles already, most notably the Chicago Manual of Style. However, an exhaustive style repository is maintained at the Zotero website, making it easy to cite works using any style.

This software works pretty seamlessly with Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice (plugins are available to add extra integration). A handy toolbar allows you to add a footnote, insert a bibliography, or change the document citation style with just the click of a button.

Invaluable resource—for free!