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Zotero Sync Preview

Exciting news for Zotero users: synchronization has arrived. After some months of closed beta-testing, a public Sync Preview version was released recently. This means that Zotero users can now automatically synchronize their libraries across computers and even across platforms.

Although there are still some minor wrinkles, the sync functionality works perfectly fine and there are some exciting new features, including the possibility to import thousands of Endnote styles.1 With the import functionality comes a handy style manager, another step towards an elegant, shared, and open source solution to citation styling. That’s two killer features in one release — impressive work by the Zotero folks.

Also note the following:

Before Zotero 1.5 ships, we will add functionality to allow users to synchronize attachments to their own servers or other storage space (and we’ll also provide a hosted storage solution for all Zotero users). [forum post by Sean Takats]

Do keep in mind that the current preview is a preliminary version intended for public testing; do not expect it to be bug-free. Always make a backup copy of your full Zotero folder and try the Sync Preview in a new profile (step-by-step instructions on the sync preview page). Easier yet, download Firefox 3 Portable and try out Zotero Sync Preview 1.5 on a copy of your library without risking data loss or profile mixups. If your workflow is fine without synchronization, my advice is to avoid the growing pains of the preview version and wait until the release of the official 1.5 version, which should follow within a few months.

Not sure what Zotero is? Check the website or read my review of it.

  1. This doesn’t seem to work for all Endnote styles yet; some problems have been reported in the Zotero forums, probably due to parsing problems, in some cases because of sloppy coding in the .ens files. []

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