This is a potential game-changer in the citation management wars.
The Beta version of Zotero 1.5 has been released.
The most notable new features are:
- Automatic synchronization of collections among multiple computers. For example, sync your PC at work with your Mac laptop and your Linux desktop at home.
- Free automatic backup of your library data on Zotero’s servers.
- Automatic synchronization of your attachment files to a WebDAV server (e.g. iDisk, Jungle Disk, or university-provided web storage).
Other New Features
- Automatic detection of PDF metadata.
- Automatic detection and support for proxy servers.
- Trash can with restore item functionality
- Rich-text notes
- A new style manager allowing you to add and delete CSLs and legacy style formats.
- Support for Endnote® export styles
Syncing being the feature that pretty well everybody was waiting for.
This is really interesting for a number of reasons. Most of all, Zotero is a free and open source software package, so it can potentially be customized to work for local groups. Zotero is now a very real competitor to RefWorks and others for consortial and institutional site licenses and local implementations.
Looking forward, if I were interested in designing and building a cradle to grave research environment for researchers, Zotero has to be a candidate for the citation management component.
Two things I'd still like to see are some social sharing features like with Del.icio.us or Connotea. Looking forward to that seamless research environment, it would also be great if they could work out integration to an online document preparation system like Google Docs or Zoho.
I'm about to start some pretty intense literature reviewing myself pretty soon, and I have to admit I was still unsure which way I would go, citation management-wise. Now I'm thinking I'll give Zotero a shot.