Webb on the Web: Keep Track of Your Sources...Digitally

by Amy Webb
Jul 13, 2010 in Journalism Basics

One of the most difficult things to do when conducing an extensive digital search is organizing your findings. You might start out on the BBC homepage, then click on some content at IJNet, and several hours later find yourself wandering through Wikipedia. Unless you're adept at keeping excellent notes, you're probably finding that at the end of your research, you're still missing lots of critical sources.

Enter Zotero, a simple (and free!) Firefox extension that helps you manage all that information. When you find source material that you want to save, just click on the Zotero button to save it. The tool automatically extracts bibliographic information and offers the option for you to save an entire webpage, exactly as it is today, so that you can visit it later to look for information again.

Zotero saves all of your digital resources into one place. You can also save images and full-page PDFs. Zotero works in a number of different languages -- and you can search and add details or notes to your saved items later on.

While Zotero was originally intended for academic researchers and students, it's a wonderful tool for journalists who need help with digital organization. Give it a try!

Amy Webb is a digital media consultant and the CEO of Webbmedia Group, LLC. She has also launched Knowledgewebb, a new website for multimedia training. You can follow Amy on Twitter. Webbmedia Group is a vendor-neutral company. Any opinions expressed about products or services are formed after testing, research and interviews. Neither Amy Webb nor Webbmedia Group or its employees receives any financial or other benefits from vendors.