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.

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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.

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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

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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 !

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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:

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

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 Once downloaded, open the application.

You will be met with the home page, as below

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 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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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)

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EBSCO

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
S
croll down alphabetically to find an EBSCO database, for example Business Source Complete, and touch Access EBSCO databases on your mobile device

 

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

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

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

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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

 

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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

 

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DoodleCastPro for iPad is now free

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Hello everyone, You may already know DoodleCastPro, a very nice and useful app to create presentations on your iPad.

[DoodleCastPro] records your voice as you draw to create quick presentations. Doodlecast Pro saves videos to the camera roll making it easy to import them into popular video editors or presentation tools such as iMovie, Keynote, or iBooks Author. Perfect for teachers, students, business people and anyone needing an elegant way to share ideas.

Pretty great, isn’t it ?

You will be happy to learn that it is now free (it used to cost 2.99€)