Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Educators, 2nd ed. By Jason Puckett. Chicago: ACRL, 2017. 205 p. Paper $54.00 (ISBN: 978-0-83898-931-9).

Zotero is a reference management program that enables users to import references from online sources with a single click, organize them, use them to create citations and bibliographies, and share them with collaborators. Both free and remarkably easy to use, it has been making the lives of students and researchers a little easier for more than a decade. As one of the program’s strengths is its intuitive interface, a book-length guide may seem unnecessary to some users who enjoy exploring software on their own; however, the new edition of Jason Puckett’s Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Educators is nevertheless to be appreciated for the thoroughness with which it explains the program. For new users, it provides clear, step-by-step instructions to all Zotero’s major functions, illustrated with extensive screenshots. It also provides enough detail about Zotero’s advanced features that even experienced users are likely to learn something new. (I’ve been using it for years and had never noticed the “timeline” tool before reading this book.)

The guide is organized around the major functions of the Zotero program, with chapters on setting up, saving, and organizing references; creating citations and bibliographies; and synchronizing and sharing libraries. It also contains a chapter about add-ins that provide additional features and options for mobile users. As the primary intended audience is academic librarians, it concludes with a section on teaching and supporting Zotero, including sample session outlines for different audiences. There is no index.

The pace with which software changes always plagues writers of guides such as this one, and unfortunately—but predictably, as Puckett anticipates in the introduction—one major change to Zotero has already occurred since this book’s publication. Zotero used to be available in two versions, a stand-alone program and a Firefox plug-in; support for the Firefox version was discontinued in mid-2017 with the release of Zotero 5.0. The book describes both versions, so its references to the Firefox plug-in are no longer current. However, most of the step-by-step instructions and screenshots refer to the stand-alone version of the program, so fortunately the impact on the book’s usefulness is only minor.—Molly Strothmann, Social and Behavioral Sciences Librarian and Collections Manager, University of Oklahoma, Norman


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