- Install Firefox. You know how to do it, right? ;)
- Install Zotero. Just open the website and follow the instruction.
- Install zotero word processor plugin. It's available for MS Word (Windows and Mac), OpenOffice, LibreOffice and NeoOffice.
- If you are working on several machines, you need to use one data directory, otherwise you'll end up with different libraries in different machines. That's why I use flashdrive to store all zotero-related files. The data directory usually is a folder named zotero, and consists of several zotero.sqlite files. You can view and edit the data directory location in Action (the gear icon) > Preference > Advanced.
- If you're a long time firefox user, you probably don't like the Firefox 4 look that sort of trying too hard to be like Chrome. I personally like Chrome simply because it's, well, simplicity. However, Firefox has functionalities that chrome lacks of, and actually very useful for our purpose. Dedoimedo shares some tips to pimp-up your Firefox.
- Also, since Firefox 3.6 or something, they make the new tab opens at the next tab, which I hate. Here's how to modify if you prefer the new tab open at far right.
- Manage your search engine. This is what I like about Firefox compared to Chrome. You can easily customize your search engines and access it with shortcut (in case you don't know, it's ctrl-K or cmd-K). Of course you don't need bing and Yahoo. I also got rid of e-bay, but kept amazon because you sometimes need book's bibliography as well. I kept Google and Wikipedia, and added Google Scholar (a super-brilliant add-on) and a dictionary (usually Merriam-Webster).
- And if you're still not satisfied, manage your bookmarks. I set BBC News-Science and Environment as my homepage. Yeah, I know, a little bit pretentious. I removed Most Visited and Getting Started bookmarks, but kept Latest Headlines. Then I added Scopus and Web of Science. You have to be subscribed for these two sites, I'm afraid. I also added DOI homepage in bookmark.
02 Juni 2011
How to use Firefox as a science tool? Well, you know the short and easy answer. Zotero. But Zotero alone is not enough, at least for me. And since I do this so many times in the past several months, I might as well write it down. So here's how to turn your Firefox into a powerful scientific tool in 8 steps.