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Managing Bibliographies with OpenOffice.org and Zotero

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If OpenOffice.org’s own bibliography feature doesn’t really cut it for you, you have several choices. One popular bibliography solution is Bibus, a cross-platform tool that integrates nicely with OpenOffice.org. It is, however, not the only bibliographical tool out there. In fact, there is another nifty tool called Zotero that turns Firefox into a powerful research tool. More importantly, it comes with an OpenOffice.org extension that allows you to use Zotero as a bibliography database. Zotero also sports a few clever features that make the process of creating and managing bibliographies much more efficient.

While you can populate your library with bibliographic entries manually, Zotero can do the donkey work for you. It comes with a set of translators that can sense and extract book data from the Web page you’re currently viewing. The list of supported Web sites is impressive, and using Zotero to extract book data from them is straightforward. To see how this works in practice, install Zotero, point your browser to Google Books, and do a search for openoffice. If you take a closer look at Firefox’s address bar, you’ll notice a folder icon — that indicates that Zotero has discovered several book entries on the page.

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