Zotero: Getting Organized
Zotero allows you to manage all of the citations you have saved by organizing them into collections and subcollections.
In the example here, Zotero is organized into collections based on semester, course number and paper topic. You can organize your collections in whatever way works for you!
To create a new collection you can either right click the folder where you want the new collection located and click "New Subcollection," or you can click the "New Collection" button from the file menu.
Creating Tags and Notes
Tags are ways to quickly identify the contents of an article and to group like articles using a similar word.
When you automatically import a citation from a library database, often times these tags will be created for you automatically, but sometimes you will need to manually enter them. You may also wish to add a tag specific to your organization system. For example, maybe instead of organizing your collections by course number, you would prefer to add a tag for each relevant course. Since tags can be searched, you could type the course number into the search box and retrieve all of the articles tagged in that way. The same could be done for tags about the subject matter, or any other information you would like to add.
Notes allow you to add a detailed description to a particular citation.
Maybe while reading the article, you have an idea of where it could be used in your paper or you have some initial thoughts or analysis about the article. Add this information as a note so that you don't forget about it later while writing.
Mise en place
Now that you have created collections and tags to organize your content, make sure to associate your citations with the correct collections in your organization system.
You will do a lot of research throughout your time at Carroll and your citations could quickly overwhelm you. Keeping up with your organization will allow you to very quickly view all of the items related to the specific project you are working on instead of having to waste time sorting through a huge collection of citations. This will also be helpful in reducing the amount of redundant searching you have to do from class to class and allow you to more easily reuse citations and your associated work.