Last fall I wrote about Zotero, a free Firefox extension that enables faculty to collect, manage, and cite their research from George Mason University. In December Zotero was in the news again with their partnership with the non-profit Internet Archive to create a shared online database for scholars to upload their notes, photographs, digital scans of research documents, and other data from their hard drives.
This opening up of private research materials before publication may be counter to the usual university research culture of waiting until publication for research to be shared but the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $514,000 to the Center for History and New Media at George Mason to support the effort, and gave more than $700,000 more to the Internet Archive for the project according to an article in The Wired Campus.
The Zotero-IA alliance will create a “Zotero Commons” into which scholarly materials can be added simply via the Zotero client, according to Dan Cohen, the Director of the Center.
According to the Zotero site, this software:
"...includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)...and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and del.icio.us), such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways."
The Wired Campus also reported that the Internet Archive is promising an "added incentive " for scholars to share - "researchers who upload scanned files of books or other documents, the archive will perform a full-text conversion and e-mail back a text document that can be easily searched (picturefiles of documents are not usually searchable)."
To read more about this new partnership, read Zotero and the Internet Archive Join Forces.