Research with Zotero

December 11, 2009 by

I have been using the Zotero plug-in to Firefox, developed by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, as my primary computer tool in my dissertation work at The Ohio State University. My research is about quality and its meanings in distance education at colleges and universities. The study uses qualitative methods and revolves around a case study at one institution.

Originally, I approached Zotero as a tool for managing citations. But as I became familiar with it, I learned how to use it for data analysis using interviews, documents, and other source materials. I found it to be comparable to other tools for qualitative research such as N Vivo.

3 Responses to Research with Zotero

  1. Profile photo of Erin Bell
    Erin Bell on December 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Gary, I’d love to hear more about using Zotero for data analysis. What kind of analysis are you doing?

    (I would also like to hear about your research on distance education programs, for which I have mixed feelings of both enthusiasm and skepticism)

  2. Profile photo of fvanhorne
    fvanhorne on December 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I’m also interested in learning about Zotero research. I’ve read about it but haven’t yet implemented it myself.

  3. Gary on January 9, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Hi, Erin, Faith:

    RE: The kind of analysis I’m doing with Zotero. I’m using qualitative methods to do an interpretive study of my topic in distance education. So I’m using Zotero to create thematic categories from transcripts of interviews, emails, and some conversations in meetings. This is a technique widely used in qualitative research in the humanities and social sciences.

    I also enter notes on all my readings related to the above. It comes together to create what I think is a pretty powerful database around my research topic.

    Hope this is helpful.

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