Zotero can help with medical research and daily healthcare Information Management work

Home > Zotero can help with medical research and daily healthcare Information Management work

Most of us in the healthcare industry are constantly doing research of one kind or another (doctors have to keep up with new procedures and the latest research, nurses have to keep up with latest techniques, etc).

Most of us just end up using simple but inefficient tools like files on our desktop, folders on a USB drive, MS Word for editing, printouts for clippings, etc. Dr. Rich Olson, a surgeon friend of mine, pointed me to the Zotero Firefox plugin this weekend. I must say I’m impressed with Zotero’s ability to help me keep all my research notes, ideas, clippings, images, and bookmarks in one place where I’m usually sitting all day anyway: in my Firefox browser. I’m hooked after one day. It can even grab PDF files and other complete documents from the web and stash them away into a database and allow them to be searched locally. Very cool.

Check out the video to get a quick intro.


Installation took less than a minute and after Firefox restarted I the plugin was running and visible – I just created a few “Collections” and was off and running. The key thing to keep in mind is that the data is stored in a sqlite database and you need to make sure that database is reguarly backed up. The first thing I did was move the database from the profile directory of Firefox to a separate directory that I know I keep backed up. To do this, just go to Firefox –> Tools –> Addons. Pick Zotero, click on “Options” and then choose the “Advanced” tab.


If there are some of you who have tried Zotero, drop a comment here.


Shahid N. Shah

Shahid Shah is an internationally recognized enterprise software guru that specializes in digital health with an emphasis on e-health, EHR/EMR, big data, iOT, data interoperability, med device connectivity, and bioinformatics.