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MUSL 2100 - Music as Global Culture - Fry: Zotero

Zotero Tutorials

By this point in your academic career, you understand that not citing your sources appropriately is plagiarism, but this is not the only reason that we require you to use footnotes and create bibliographies. While you may not realize it, every time that you write a paper, perform a piece, or compose a work, you are contributing to the discourse of the discipline of music. Within every discipline, there are rules that govern how we communicate, and including citations is expected when participating in the scholarly conversation about music.

We know that many of you are unfamiliar with the conventions of the Chicago Manual of Style (the preferred citation style for music), and that you may have only limited experience with scholarly writing that requires footnotes. The good news is that there is a very powerful, free tool called Zotero. Zotero is a citation management tool that allows you to import information about books, scores, articles, and videos from the web into a library that generates citations. A plug-in for MS Word imports citations from your library directly into your research papers. 

The tutorials in this LibGuide were created by librarians at Fielding Graduate University. A full list of their excellent Zotero tutorials can be found here.

Zotero does a fairly good job at creating correct citations, but it is not perfect. You should be particularly careful about sound recordings. Remember to check the sources listed below to be sure that your citations are correct:

Citing Music Materials According to Chicago - This is a link to a research guide on citation that I created. It contains music-specific examples, including how to cite scores, sound recordings, and streaming media.

This tutorial shows you how to download the two components of Zotero: the desktop application and the browser connector tool.

"Zotero Tutorial Video 1: Download." YouTube video, 3:28. Fielding Graduate University. Posted by "Fielding Librarian." Feb. 8, 2018.

This tutorial shows you how to set up your preferences in Zotero. Note that the most current version might have slightly different options from what you see in the tutorial. Pay particular attention to the MS Word add-in; that is how you import citations as footnotes and bibliographies in Word.

"Zotero Tutorial Video 2: Preferences." YouTube video, 7:51. Fielding Graduate University. Uploaded by "Fielding Librarian." Feb. 8, 2018. 

This tutorial demonstrates how to use the browser connector tool to create citations in your Zotero library. Fielding Graduate University's Library calls their library catalog FASTsearch; it is very similar to the Vanderbilt Library's new catalog. You can create citations for items in our catalog using the browser connector as demonstrated in the tutorial.

"Zotero Tutorial Video 3: Adding Items from the Web." YouTube video, 12:05. Fielding Graduate University. Uploaded by "Fielding Librarian." Feb. 15, 2018. 

This tutorial shows you how to organize your Zotero library by creating collections and sub-collections.

"Zotero Tutorial Video 6: Organizing Your Library." YouTube video, 3:50. Fielding Graduate University. Posted by "Fielding Librarian." Mar. 1, 2018. 

This tutorial shows you how to use the MS Word plug-in to generate citations and bibliographies within your Word document. Since this video uses APA, there are a couple of things that you need to know when using Chicago:

  • When you open the Zotero menu in Word for the first time, you will be asked to set up Document Preferences. Select Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition (full note). Display citations as footnotes.
  • Remember to use Classic View when creating footnotes (available in the drop-down under the Z when adding/editing a citation). Be sure to include a page number!
  • Always check the capitalization, particularly in titles. If you need to edit, right click on the title field, select Transform Text, and then Text Case. This ensures that all of the words in the title are capitalized.
  • Always do your citation edits in Zotero. If you do them in Word, the changes might not stick. If you have to make a change in Zotero, you can easily update it in your Word document by selecting "Refresh" in the Zotero menu.

"Zotero Tutorial Video 9: Using Zotero with MS Word." YouTube video, 8:20. Fielding Graduate University. Uploaded by "Fielding Librarian." Mar. 9, 2018.