Zotero : Boost your efficiency with tips and smart features

Zotero is an essential companion for all faculties and students who are writing their papers or thesis. But Zotero is not perfect 😉

Thankfully, several features, pluggins or apps makes up for its limitations in particular with PDF management.


1. Saved Searches

 […] With the advanced search feature you can start combining criteria and getting really sophisticated […]

Instead of manually search for your library’s articles, you can  build an advanced search, enter your search criterias and terms then save it as a saved search.


Find out more about Zotero’s saved searches with this article of The Digital Researcher

2. Zotfile

2.1 Manage your downloaded PDFs

Another interesting discovery is  Zotfile.

Zotfile is a third-party plugin which will help you handle your PDFs once downloaded in Zotero. By default, Zotero store your PDFs into a deep folder in your computer and namme them randomly like “6K765YEI”

Zotfile allows you to choose where you want to store and name your PDFs, including in a Dropbox file !
It makes this possible by “linking the citation entry in Zotero to the file“.

You can, for example, store your PDF files in a folder called “My thesis” that lives in your Dropbox space.

2.2 Extract your highlights and annotations from your PDFs

If you open your PDF in another application to add highlights and annotations, Zotfile can actually extract and save them as an attached note in Zotero.

This feature is one of Zotfile’s best asset.

On your PDF document, highlight an expression or a paragraph and make a right-click  to select Manage Attachments —> Extract Annotations.

The note will be attached with its record in your Zotero Library


Find more about Zotfile and its features by reading this article written by Catherine Pope and published on The Digital Researcher  : “How to make Zotero even better with Zotfile

Download Zotfile here : http://zotfile.com/

3. Annotate your Zotero’s articles on your iPad

First, you need to download and install the iPad app of Zotero : Zotpad.

1. Link ZotPad with Dropbox. To do this, set both Zotero and ZotPad to use Dropbox as the file storage service in your settings.

2. Set up the “Advanced Dropbox Settings” and preferences of ZotPad so that they exactly macth those in your Zotfile preferences : this will allow the download of your documents from Dropbox.

3. Then, on your document use the “Open in…” function to view the PDF on ZotPad and annotate it.

4. The annotated document will then  be updated in Dropbox and Zotero !


For more details and info about how ZotPad can help you improve your efficiency, read this article from “HASTAC”






How to manage your citations with your iPad ?

More and more citations apps are now available for tablets.
We already present you Easy Bib but others apps also exist.
Some are free others will cost you a few euros.

Take a look at this selection made by “Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Which one is your favorite ?

Would you be willing to pay to get an effective app to manage citations on your iPad ?




Easybib for iPad

Now that you know how to generate easily a bibliography with Easybib (see the article “How to generate your citations and create a bibliography with Easybib“)

find out about the Easybib iPad app !

Easybib for iPad allows you to create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book.

Create and manage your works cited list directly from your iPad.

Once done, email  or export your citations  !

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Word, Excel and PowerPoint now on iPad!

From the beginning of April, 3 small apps that all iPad owners have only dreamed of owning for free, have finally appeared on the App Store :  Word, Excel and Power Point !


Available for free download via the App Store,

these applications allow you to view Microsoft Office documents (doc , ppt , xls … ) with a quality similar in every respect to the Ms Office suite for PC .

You can synchronize your documents via One Drive and access them from another device.

Plus, when you open a document, it will continue exactly where you left off, including any modifications made.

You will have to purchase the paid version of Office 365 ( from 69 € / year) to create and edit documents, and to gain access to the wealth of features and menus of the Office suite.

But if you do not want to spend the money, Microsoft has made the Office Mobile App available for free !

The Office Mobile app allows you to view and edit Word , Excel and PowerPoint files on SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro or SharePoint using an interface designed for iPhone ( but that also works with iPad)

Now you can work like the pros !

Research Apps for your mobile device

With the growing use of mobile devices in both daily and academic life, databases and other online resources are increasingly providing mobile access or developing applications to support their platforms.

Two recent examples of this are:

  • Emerald
  • Ebsco

Emerald  is a leading publisher of journals and books in the business and management domains.
Few month ago, Emerald has released a free application for iPad and iPhone which provides access to 100 000 journal articles, available from the app store.

Here’s how:


Open the app store and search for ‘Emerald’
Select and download the free app


 Once downloaded, open the application.

You will be met with the home page, as below


 You can search for articles using the simple search field. 

Your results will be displayed in the form of icons depicting each article title.

NB:  If you are connected to the HEC Wifi network you will also be able to get the PDF full text for each article.


The “Read Full-Text” icon will take you to an article summary page (redirected via your browser) with the option to view the article in full, PDF format in the tool bar on the right hand side of the screen.





The app also allows you to :

  •  browse journals by title, by tapping the ‘Browse Journals icon’ to view all available journals alphabetically (as shown below)






EBSCO uses a platform via your browser to offer mobile access to articles

To gain access, go to the HEC Library website –> Electronic Resources –> Databases A-Z
croll down alphabetically to find an EBSCO database, for example Business Source Complete, and touch Access EBSCO databases on your mobile device




Tap the EBSCOhost Mobile application is tailor-made for the smaller screens of mobile devices icon


 Select one or several databases on the list by ticking the relevant boxes on the left hand side, before selecting ‘continue’


Perform your search as you would normally, providing key words in the search boxes and drop down menus



From the list of results, you can get access to an article summary, or to the full text by tapping ‘PDF full text’


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The article will appear on your screen, as below





For further information on any of the above, do not hesitate to contact the library 😉

A selection of apps to annotate, highlight, comments to PDFs

If like more and more students, you also use your iPad as a tool for your student work,

Take a look at this interesting  article, published in last January 30th on “Educational Theory and Mobile Learning” :

10 excellent iPad apps to annotate, highlight, and add comments to PDFs






Get the right info : create your own news feed on your mobile device

You can now avoid trawling through articles that hold no personal interest, by personalising your news feed on your mobile device.

There are many apps available for Apple, Android and Windows devices that can help you do this; for example Feedly, Flipboard, Zite, YouMag and Google Currents, to name but a few

feedly-logo1     flipboard     Zite-App-Icon_thumb     youmag logo     googlecurrents

Let’s take Feedly as an example

Feedly is an application designed to “deliver all your favorite content in one place” by making contecnt from news sites, magazines, feeds, tumblr blogs, YouTube, Vimeo etc available all in one place.

First, download it from the app store for free


When setting up your content, you can select by subject area, and by language by sliding the search menu out from the right hand side of the screen


You can equally search for a specific publication, or content from the web

To add content to your feed, select the publication, and then touch the ‘ + ‘ to the right of the publication


You can organise your content as you add it, into subject area categories

Equally, you can flag articles to read later, or further explore the publication by following the corresponding sections in the menu available from the left hand side of the screen.


When you launch the app, your home page news feed will now contain articles from publications you have subscribed to.
Tap an article to read it in full, or sort your news feed by sector using the left hand menu.

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For more information and step by step procedures to help set up these applications, consult this guide!

Download the SSRN app on your iPad


SSRN, the online repository for academic research articles,
also has its application, called iSSRN.

To download it, simply go to the app store, search SSRN, and touch the icon to begin the free download


Once downloaded, the app functions in a similar fashion to the SSRN site

You can conduct a search using the search bar, and your results will appear according to number of downloads.

Simply touch “view PDF” to see the article in full, or on one of the authors names to get a more complete profile.





Studying with your mobile device : Some useful apps you need to download !


  • Searching for information online
  • Taking notes in the classroom
  • Saving files
  • Sharing a PDF document with your co-workers
  • Scanning pictures
  • Annotating  PDFs
  • Organising your search references
  • Keeping up to date with the news
  • Asking peers for a certain knowledge

These are the things that make up student life today 😉

But now, you can do all this (and even more) with just your tablet or smartphone…

All you need are the right tools !

TeachThought have listed 25 of the best research apps for iPad and Android to get you started.


At HEC library, our favorites are :

  • Scanner Pro : A great app  for quickly scanning and saving a digital version (enven in PDF !) of a paper document


  • EasyBib : If you are currently writing your thesis, EasyBib is a very useful app to create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book. Easybib helps you build and manage your works cited. A must have 😉


  • Questia Library : This app give you access to over 75,000 books, 9 million articles, and 7,000 research topics !


  • iAnnotate PDF : Read, mark up, and share your PDF, DOC, PPT and image files !  iAnnotate PDF  is “an indispensable tool to have,”


Gallica fait peau neuve sur Android

L’application Gallica pour smartphones et tablettes Android a bénéficié d’une refonte complète.


Gallica permet d’accéder gratuitement aux collections numérisées de la Bibliothèque Nationale de Francelivres, fascicules de presse, revues, manuscrits, photographies, estampes, affiches, cartes, partitions…

L’application vous permet rechercher des documents sur l’ensemble des fonds numérisés par la BnF mais également de les télécharger ou de les partager par email ou sur les réseaux sociaux.

L’appli est téléchargeable gratuitement sur Google Play  ou sur l’App Store