Reading and annotation with Zotero

This unit of the course is focused on ways to work with your Zotero items directly in the software. Instead of using one system for research, course work, and studying, and then only relying on Zotero for inserting citations in your writing, why not use Zotero as an active partner in your reading, note-taking, and research?

We begin this unit with a look at Zotero’s notes feature, and how you can use it to keep track of summaries, quotations, ideas, and new questions you discover as you are reading and working through material. We look at two different note-taking strategies that are commonly-used at college or university, and see how you can implement them directly in Zotero. And for people who have embraced a digital workflow that involves highlighting and annotating PDF files instead of going through large amounts of paper, we’ll introduce a terrific add-on called Zotfile that can extract your highlights and comments from PDF files and put them in Zotero notes… complete with in-text citations that link directly to the source!

To get the most out of this unit, we recommend following the module is order… but wherever possible, we’ve added links to relevant background material for situations where you want to jump in and learn about something specific. In this unit:

Jump in!

Learning Objectives

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Manage research notes using Zotero, and generate reports┬áto help with assignments, papers, and projects including theses
  • Use PDF annotation tools to create searchable notes and quotations based on article and book sources
  • Use a tablet/iPad to create PDF annotations (highlights, notes, etc.) that can be seen and searched in Zotero



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Mastering Zotero by Kris Joseph is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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