Zotero is a bibliographic management tool like Endnote or Ref Works, but it is freely available to download, install, and use. It was developed at George Mason University's Center for History and New Media with sponsorship from the Melon and Sloan Foundations and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Zotero is a Firefox browser extension for Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems that allows users to efficiently collection information from library catalogs and databases and produce citations and bibliographies with ease. There is also the potential to store .pdf documents, notes, and snapshots of web pages. A final feature of Zotero is creation of group libraries for collaborative projects. This guide will help with installation, basic use, and support materials for using Zotero.
Of the different ways to automatically generate bibliographies (as well as in-text citations and footnotes), the easy-to-use word processor plugins are probably the most flexible. These plugins, available for Microsoft Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice/NeoOffice, create dynamic bibliographies: insert a new in-text citation in your manuscript, and the bibliography will be automatically updated to include the cited item. Correct the title of an item in your Zotero library and with a click of a button the change will be incorporated in your texts.
To get started with these plugins, check out the following links. You can also get a taste of how these plugins work in action by watching screencasts of Zotero and Word or of Zotero and OpenOffice (by Daniel de Byl).