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Reference Manager: Zotero

Medicine is all about learning from what other people have discovered — and remembering! In order to do this, we must have an organized way of managing the volumes of scientific articles that accumulate everyday in our hard drives. It was once said: the number of citations in MEDLINE increase so fast that if you read two articles per day for a year, you would be hundreds of years behind. (Yeah right, who reads two articles per month?)

Managing these articles is what this medhack is all about. The technical term for such tools is ‘reference manager’. Although that generic term has been used by a proprietary brand, the term sticks and academics know what the terms essentially means.

Our featured reference manager for this medhack is Zotero — an extension to the Firefox web browser (did I tell you to start using Firefox?). Zotero takes its spot at the right lower corner and can be activated by clicking on its icon.

A neat feature of Zotero is its ability to extract bibliographic information from PUBMED. Just open the citation (where the abstract is viewable) and click on the Zotero icon at the end of the URL in the address box (see image). That’s it!

Zotero is full of features. It’s free and won’t bite so go ahead and test drive it today.

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