Category Archives: citation

Instantly Create and Share a Bibliography with ZoteroBib – Even in Bluebook

When I’m writing a document or article and I need to manage a bunch of citations, my go-to tool is Zotero.  It’s an incredibly powerful citation manager that helps you collect, organize, cite, and share research – and it’s open source which means that it’s free!  Zotero is perfect for large research projects where you’re researching over a period of days, weeks, months, etc.  It supports thousands of citation styles, including Bluebook.


But sometimes you just want to create a quick and dirty list of citations.  If you’re looking to just cite a few sources, EasyBib is not a bad choice.  They teach kids to use it in elementary school.



You enter in a url, isbn, etc. to create citations one-by-one in several styles.  It takes multiple clicks to generate a citation.  Then you copy and paste each one individually into your document.  It’s also free but is riddled with ads.

But now there is ZoteroBib – a new free, tool from the makers of Zotero.  It’s like EasyBib but quicker, more powerful, and sans the obnoxious ads.  As you’re researching, just enter in your url, isbn, doi, etc., and click cite.  It automatically grabs the citation and adds it to your list in just one click.  Like Zotero, it supports Bluebook and many other citation styles.  And ZoteroBib works on any device.



Once you’ve finished compiling your list of sources, you can export your complete bibliography to your clipboard and paste into your document.  Or you can easily share your list of sources by creating a link to your bibliography with a single click.   This could be a very easy way for librarians to share a list of sources with faculty, etc.

ZoteroBib Export


From the Zotero Blog:

Powered by the same technology behind Zotero, ZoteroBib lets you seamlessly add items from across the web — using Zotero’s unmatched metadata extraction abilities — and generate bibliographies in more than 9,000 citation styles. There’s no software to install or account to create, and it works on any device, including tablets and phones. Your bibliography is stored right on your device — in your browser’s local storage — unless you create a version to share or load elsewhere, so your data remains entirely under your control.

A Zotero Update and work-around for the UW Catalog

2015 has been a whirlwind year of change for UW Libraries, even though most of it is not obvious to users. The campus (and entire UW system!) recently switched our library catalog platform and modified several of our web discovery tools.

Zotero, a free and very helpful citation manager used by many Law School faculty and staff, was also recently updated and changed in Firefox. Instead of seeing a book icon (or folder, journal article, etc.) in your address bar, the Zotero translator tool is now located to the far right in your Firefox browser, as indicated in the screenshot below:


To save your item (book, article, website, etc.), click on the drop-down menu and select how you want the resource to be saved. It’s an easy-to-use upgrade, but one that was rolled out somewhat quietly.

All these changes, however, have caused one part of Zotero to go on the fritz. If you try to save a book, etc. from the UW library catalog, Zotero currently cannot detect all of the information about the item and so doesn’t know that it is saving information for a book or journal. It will simply try to save them item as a webpage…which leaves a lot of useful information behind.

The UW team is aware of the problem, but it may take some time to fix it as there are so many other changes to work through at this time. In the meantime, a helpful workaround is to go to, a catalog of library materials worldwide, and locate your book, etc. there. You will be able to save your item with all of the important data and information quickly and easily.

If you have any problems or questions, feel free to contact either Kris or Bonnie and we’ll figure out a solution.

New 20th Edition of the Bluebook is Now Available

The other day I walked into my office after lunch and was excited to find that someone had placed a brand new 20th edition of the Bluebook guide to legal citation on my desk.  I realize that I may be revealing some major nerdiness admitting to that.

I’ve always had a love – hate relationship with the Bluebook.  It can be so darn cryptic sometimes that you just feel great when you figure out how exactly to cite some obscure legal document.  Or, more likely, you make a solid educated guess.  There is a certain logic to the madness that, as I tell students, does come easier with time.

To find out what’s new with the 20th edition, check out the guide complied by Pace Law Library.  Hat tip to Hofstra Law Library.


The US Code gets a slight reorganization

Starting on September 1st, the US Code added a new Title. Sections concerning the voting and elections that were previously found in titles 2 and 42 are now being moved to a new Title 52. The idea behind the addition is to both simplify the existing sections of 2 and 42 and make a more coherent Title that pertains only to voting and elections.
For online versions of the code, you can now cite Title 52. For print editions, the change will take effect with the publication of supplement II of the 2012 edition.
For more background on the change and resources to check on during the transition, visit the USC webpage that discusses the update in more depth.

The Bluebook Goes Mobile

The Bluebook, a Uniform System of Citation, is now available via the rulebook app for iPhone and iPad. The app allows users to search, highlight, bookmark and take notes. Content is automatically updated when changes occur.
Other legal content is also available for purchase through the rulebook app, including the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Evidence rules.
The rulebook app is free, but once inside users will be given the opportunity to purchase the Bluebook content for $39.99. By way of comparison, the print edition of the Bluebook costs $34.00. (Note that LTN reports that on August 22nd the federal rules will be available for free on rulebook and content will be kept current through the end of the year.)
If you like the idea of accessing the Bluebook electronically, but would prefer to do so on your computer rather than a mobile device, a web-based subscription is also available. Prices for an individual subscription are 1 year for $32, 2 years for $42 and 3 years for $50.

Jureeka! Now Powered by Cornell’s LII

It appears that Jureeka! is now powered by Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII).
Jureeka! is a Firefox plugin that turns legal citations in web pages into hyperlinks that point to online legal source material. It’s great for quickly locating statutes, case law, regulations, federal court rules, international law sources, and more.
We’ve installed Jureeka! on our public workstations in the law library. It allows users to click right into cases, etc when the citation appears on any web page.

Does Open Access Publication Generate More Readership & Citations?

Will publishing your work in an open access publication generate more readership and citations? Yes and no, according to a Cornell University study.
Using a sample of open access journals in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, the authors found that such articles received significantly more downloads and reached a broader audience within the first year, yet were cited no more frequently, nor earlier, than subscription-access control articles within 3 years.
Full cite: Open access, readership, citations: a randomized controlled trial of scientific journal publishing, Philip M. Davis, Department of Communication, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Hat tip to beSpacific

Zotero Development Workshop

Are you a Zotero user looking to contribute to the community? Need to make Zotero work for you? [What is Zotero?]
On Monday, April 11th, join Zotero community developer Avram Lyon, the primary translator reviewer who’s helped to create many translators and has developed for Multilingual Zotero, to learn more about Translator Creation, Citation Style Language, the Zotero API, and using Zotero for your own scholarly endeavors.
Join him for one or all of the following sessions:
Translator Creation
Monday, April 11th
10:00am – 11:30am
Room 126, Memorial Library, UW Madison
Translators allow Zotero to detect and pull in citation information from web sites, including library catalogs, databases…you name it. The great thing is that if you create a new translator or make changes to an existing one, these updates can be bundled with subsequent Zotero releases to help others with their scholarly endeavors. You can also use the translators you create locally on your computer.
Citation Style Language
Monday, April 11th
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Room 126, Memorial Library, UW Madison
CSL is an XML language that allows you to create new citation and bibliographic styles. Many of the styles you know and use now within Zotero are created by community developers. If you need one that is not currently present in Zotero’s CSL library, you can create your own – and this portion of the workshop will show you how to do that.
Mashups using Zotero’s API and Leveraging Zotero for new scholarly endeavors
Monday, April 11th
3:00pm – 4:30 pm
Room 126, Memorial Library, UW Madison
This session will show talk about manipulating parameters to feed various items and collections into other applications like Omeka, WordPress, Googlereader, or one you create yourself! Some neat possibilities with Zotero include the crowdsourcing of transcription, metadata creation or the cleaning up of “bad” metadata as a group project.
To fully participate in these workshops, we ask that participants are comfortable with HTML.
All sessions are open the public, but please email if you plan to attend.

Help Needed to Develop Bluebook Citation Style for Zotero

I received an email yesterday from Frank Bennet who has been leading the development of a Bluebook citation style for Zotero. Zotero is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. Currently, Zotero only offers a beta version of the Bluebook citation style which is pretty limited.
But, Frank tells me that now “Zotero has acquired the basic capabilities needed for legal writing.” He adds:

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 at present, for the obvious-enough reason that Zotero has until now not been terribly useful for things legal…
I would be looking for people 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– beta testers for alpha software.

If you’re willing to help out, contact Frank Bennett. See also the Zotero-legal Google group – a forum for discussion and a repository of notes and proposals.