creating a personal bibliography (perhaps using zotero)
September 15, 2019 3:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting tired of saying "I read that online somewhere" without having any idea where I saw it. So I would like to create a collection of articles that I have read as I read them. This needs to be more than just a list of bookmarks because websites can disappear and I would like to maintain this information even if the source material goes stale.

Ideally this list would be easy to add to, either from a computer or a cell phone (currently android) and not too hard to remove from. It would also be nice to be able to search the articles that are linked to but that's not essential.

I've played just a little with zotero and I'm pretty sure it will work for saving to, accessing, and deleting from this list. I'm not sure if I can get the process of adding to the list to be as simple as I would like it to be with zotero but I can work on that. I don't know if zotero has a good search function.

I expect to have to do some work to get things set up. That's fine but if it's not really simple to use on a per-citation basis I probably won't stay in the habit of using it.

It would also be nice to have the ability to add books to the list. I'm sure zotero can handle this but I don't know if I can integrate it well with an ebook reader ( currently the kindle app ).

If anyone reading this has suggestions for how to do this, please let me know. If you already do something like this yourself I would be interested in hearing what tools/setup/process you use. Right now it's just a (somewhat vague) idea and I wanted to ask before getting started.

posted by metadave to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Pinboard offers bookmarking with archiving and full text search for $25 per year. It works within the browser in a somewhat old-school way with bookmarklets; there are also some third-party mobile apps but I haven't tried them.
posted by mbrubeck at 3:38 PM on September 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

You can also do this with Evernote.
posted by praemunire at 4:49 PM on September 15, 2019

Best answer: I use pocket for most of what you’re describing. There’s a browser button for desktop and a saving option for mobile. I have also used Evernote for this but, for me, saving from mobile doesn’t always work. Pocket nearly always works. Searching in headlines is free, searching within text requires a paid upgrade to pro.

I use Zotero for academic research. There is a browser extension (I use it with safari) that can scrape and save a webpage you are currently looking at. I use this on my computer but have not attempted it and not sure if it is possible on mobile. It handles PDFs well but I’m not sure if it can do epubs or other forms of ebook.
posted by zingiberene at 5:50 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I use Evernote with a folder called Commonbook for this. Occasionally I will go in and tag a set of articles I want for a particular project or re-reading, but usually I just use Evernote's search function to retrieve the article. I save the entire page or if it has a really gnarly layout, I'll save it as a PDF (there's a add-on to print-to-Evernote for Mac which is really handy or you can open a page in Preview and save it there) or use Evernote's simplify option which strips the layout, but also sometimes strips comments and images. Evernote has plugins and extensions for everything.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:53 PM on September 15, 2019

Best answer: I use Zotero excessively and the Zotero bookmarklet is a godsend.

Zotero's search function is pretty strong. You should be able to search by keyword, title, or author pretty simply. I keep about 10 years worth of research in Zotero, and until recently I paid them a bit a month to save the pdf's for me as well. That meant that I could find and reference an article I captured for a class project in 2006 and still read it along with my notes.

I also use Pocket for non-academic articles, but that's just because I don't want a shit ton of random articles cluttering up my Zotero.
posted by teleri025 at 11:01 AM on September 16, 2019

Response by poster: Thank you for all these answers. I'm now trying out zotero. For others who are interested in doing the same, here are a few things I've noticed so far.

* The zotero bookmarklet worked in chrome on linux and on android but I ran into problems using brave on android. I will probably switch to chrome - brave is nice but I don't depend on it.

* As far as I can tell, zotero will not take a snapshot of a site that requires a log in. Tried both using the zotero application (on linux) and using the bookmarklet. Still looking for a way around this limitation but it's not a showstopper. Pocket does not handle this either (AFAICT).

I may update this later if/when I learn more.
posted by metadave at 1:17 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

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