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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2021 Virtual Summer Research Laboratory

A guide for virtual Summer Research Laboratory participants at the University of Illinois Library. It contains information on virtual services, events, access to digital resources, and research technologies.

Citation Management Tools


Zotero is a free citation management software plug in for Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. It enables users to collect, manage, and cite research from all types of sources. It is easy to use, lives in your web browser where you do your work, and it is free! Zotero allows you to attach pdfs, notes, images and screenshots to your citations, to organize them into collections for different projects, and to create bibliographies using Word or OpenOffice.

Zotero detects when a book, article, or other resource is being viewed and, with a mouse click, finds and saves the full reference information to a local file. If the source is an online article or web page, Zotero can optionally store a local copy of the source. Users can then add notes, tags, and their own metadata through the in-browser interface. Selections of the local reference library data can later be exported as formatted bibliographies.

Because it is a Firefox add-on, it automatically updates itself periodically to work with new online sources and new bibliographic styles.

To use Zotero, you can either download Zotero browser extension, or Zotero Standalone, which runs as a separate application but plugs into your choice of browser. Downloading Zotero includes the plugins for Word and OpenOffice.

For more help, see this official Zotero Guide or the Zotero LibGuide.

Current Awareness

Current Awareness is a term used to encompass a variety of tools for staying up to date with the latest news which includes blogs, podcasting, RSS, database alerts, and table of contents alerts. Auto Alerts are e-mail delivered tables of contents from specific journals, newly published books, or subject searches of new journal articles by a specific publisher. Most major publishers database providers offer some form of Auto Alert.  Patrons can use these current awareness features to keep up-to-date in their field of interest.

 In EBSCO databases (including Historical Abstracts, ABSEES, etc.) you must create a free account to create and keep track of search alerts. This is an easy process that allows you to create several alerts, decide their frequency and stop them whenever you want. While signed into your account, click on Search History. Next to each search you will see an RSS feed image that looks like this:  When you click on this image, a Create Alert window will appear, which is shown in the image below.

ARJ File Format

ARJ is a file archiver that compresses files into a disk space saving archive. It is fast, reliable, and has a rich set of features which include Windows 9x, Millenium long filename support, file version management, data damage protection, ANSI escape sequence display handler, configurable command options, multiple volume archives (archives that span diskettes) and much more.

For example: the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation uses ARJ file format to store/publish statistical information.  Researchers can view and download ARJ file archiver here.

DjVu Plug-in

DjVu (pronounced "déjà vu") is a digital document format with advanced compression technology and high performance value. DjVu allows for the distribution of very high resolution images of scanned documents, digital documents, and photographs on the Internet and on DVD . DjVu viewers are available for the web browser, the desktop, and other mobile devices.

Researchers can view and download Djvu Browser Plug-ins here.  Note: Djvu browser plug-in for Windows / Macs. 

There are number of online resources that require DjVu browser plug-in.  For example: Russkii Biograficheskii Slovar' [A. A. Polovtsova, Elektronnaia reprintnaia versiia] and Entsiklopedicheskii slovar' Brokgauza i Efrona (v 86 tomakh).