Wits libraries are hosting workshops on how to use Zotero, a referencing program, that allows you to save your work online.

No more late nights with dusty referencing guides as workshops on Zotero, a referencing program, receives a surge in popularity this year, despite having been introduced at Wits in 2013 already.

In 2013, the Wits library introduced Zotero which allows users to create bibliographies in any chosen referencing style, through hosting workshops on how to use the program, but not many students were aware of it.

Catherine Dryden, the commerce librarian for the Faculty of Commerce Law and Management, says that the popularity of the workshops “increased by 366%” since its introduction at the university.

Dryden says that the popularity of Zotero has greatly to do with it being a program that users can download for free and that bibliographies can be saved online. “Your maximum storage capacity if 300MB and you have to pay to increase your storage ($20 for an additional 2GB)”, but through managing the Zotero library, users can avoid ever having to pay, says Dryden.

Peter Alkema, a PhD student at Wits says that Zotero is especially helpful “for people who use multiple computers” but that he personally finds the program Endnote “stronger” when it comes to storing the information on a single computer. Alkema says “given that it is free, it has a very high value composition”, unlike Endnote which one has to pay for.

Dryden says that through a survey, the workshops received only positive feedback from students, who were mainly post-graduates. Students can also request for a workshop for their class, year or faculty and the library will accommodate them. Zotero workshops take only two hours and comprises of detailed steps on how to download Zotero, use its different functions and manage its online library.