Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Zotero adding Bluebook format

Zotero, the free, open source add-on for the Firefox browser, has taken notice of law schools, according to a letter posted to the teknoides listserv. from Frank Bennett . Zotero enables users to manage bibliographic data and to store web-page snapshots and other electronic objects during their research and writing, but until now was not able to compose citations in Bluebook format. Now the development trunk version of Zotero has acquired the basic capabilities needed for legal writing, has a user interface and is ready for action of a sort.
And Zotero would welcome our help! From this point, the project will benefit greatly from the input of actual legal writers. Unfortunately, there are very few lawyers in the Zotero community now, for the obvious-enough reason that Zotero has until now not been terribly useful for things legal.
The developers are looking for people to do beta-testing: who are comfortable with a few basic technical things (installing Firefox, installing plugins), who are able to invest a small amount of time playing with software with limited and occasionally broken functionality, and who have the patience to report a bit of detail when things do not work correctly. We can help build a Zotero that is useful and welcome to law students and other legal writers.
Links to the development forum and utilities:
Zotero-legal (Google group): A forum for discussion and a repository of notes and proposals.
Zotero development trunk (main and word-processor plugins): The utilities that run in Firefox.
Bluebook style (CSL 1.0): The current version of the Bluebook style in CSL 1.0.

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