Via ACM TechNews, HPCwire reports on the semantic metadata underpinning Zotero, the free, Firefox-based bibliographic management tool that more and more of us in libraries are using and recommending to our clients. One of the developers, Daniel Cohen says,

“But what I think we have done is tackled the problem of citation and research management in such a way that it creates enormous potential in the next phase of the project: the use of Zotero as a digital research platform and as a means for the networked exchange of semantic and computational information. Our Zotero Server, connected to the client, will enable all kinds of new collaboration opportunities and data-mining of aggregated collections. We also plan to provide hooks into high-performance computing projects like the SEASR text-mining project based at UIUC.”

It is fantastic to see the humble bibliographic tool, bemoaned by librarians and researchers for so long as clunky, becoming something truly innovative and going beyond simply storing lists of articles you want to cite. Data mining is becoming a major trend in eResearch as computing power increases and more and more researchers have direct access to open data sets. In the future, we won’t just be citing articles, figures, images, movies, and books, we’ll also be citing specific data points. We’ll need the tools to be able to do this accurately and effectively.

Originally published on the semanticlibrary.net blog