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Publishing a library of references with relative ease

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Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Veteran in computer systems, malware removal and ransomware topics.  I have been working in the field since 1985.
I annotated my article on ransomware somewhat extensively, but I keep adding new references and wanted to put a link to the reference library.  Despite all the reference tools I have on hand, it was not easy to find a way to do this easily. I finally found a way that suited my needs.
I wrote an article on ransomware not too long ago, and while I was writing it I tried to keep track of all the sources I used (my academic training). The reference list kept growing. If you look towards the bottom of the article you will find that I stopped at 80 references, even though my reference database was continually growing. I thought that as long as I was doing the work, I should be able to share it with others.

This turned out not to be as easy as I thought it should be. My main reference program is Thomson Reuters' EndNote (we have a site license). It has a web version (mostly a sham) and the desktop version, which has sharing capabilities. The problem that I soon discovered was that you had to invite others to share your library and there was a restriction on the number of invitees. I really needed something would let me post the library and a link to that post. EndNote seemed to not work this way (I may be wrong, but I just didn't see it). 

Next I thought about another citation program that I knew about, and had even played around with in the hope I could use its better logic instead of EndNote, and that is Zotero. Zotero is a free bibliographic alternative to most other bibliographic software. I had been using Zotero to grab citations from the web for my library, still doing it that way, by using the Zotero Firefox plugin. This works like a breeze, if you are interested. 

I installed the standalone version of Zotero; I had used the online version of Zotero sometime back, so I logged onto that to try again. I had forgotten that I had deleted several thousand articles, but left them in the trash. I started to delete them from the online version and found it unusually cumbersome. There were over 500 pages of citations and you could only delete one page at a time. I asked about this in the Zotero forum and was advised that the online GUI was not capable of mass emptying the trash.

After several hours spent emptying the trash I finally decided to sync it with my standalone Zotero library from my computer. All the references that were in the online trash were synced to the trash in the Zotero library and I was able to easily empty the trash. I then just synced it back to Zotero online and I had exactly what I wanted - I thought. I still couldn't figure out how to share the library. I went though many machinations, including signing up for a Mendeley account and importing the references into there - no luck. I eventually saw something that turned the whole process around. 

While perusing the Zotero site in order to find answers, I came across an entry about a Zotero plugin to WordPress called ZotPress. I said to myself, "I have a WordPress site, why not try it?" I installed ZotPress, put in the required information (Zotero online ID, library ID, etc.) and Voila!

Another UPDATE: use the nature style if you want to get the bibliography numbers.  It took some testing to get that part to work.  For some reason some of the styles display none of the entries at all, while others are not well suited for this type of bibliography, harvard1 style display "Anon" as the first part of almost every record, because that field is empty in my web references (must be the author field) .

You can now see my Ransomware library, in real-time since it syncs with my desktop library, at http://thomaszuckerscharff.com/ransomware-citation-library-from-zotero/ (the bibliography is approaching 300 entries as of 1/5/2016 - to me this is outright scary - too much about ransomware!).
 
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by:käµfm³d 👽
Why is this an article?
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Why not? The information would have been handy and would have saved me a lot of time had this been published by someone else.  That defines the need for me.  

The formula  is always rather simple,  if I think it will save someone else time, because it saved me time,  then it is worth writing an article.

I have gone the route of only publishing/writing articles that have technical merit and where the object would not be able to be figured out without some expert guidance. These articles are needed,  but so are less technical articles in which no real expertise is needed.  The latter is like a YouTube video by an "expert" showing how to do a relatively easy task. It makes the task easier for the end user to understand. I find this is true quite often in training videos I make for the members of my institution.
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by:käµfm³d 👽
Why not?
Because it reads like a diary or blog entry. Articles, IMO, should be an effort to teach someone something new, not recount an anecdote. This would be better written as a, "If you encounter this, do this" type of approach. As it stands now, I don't feel like I've learned anything having read it.
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LVL 31

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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Sounds like you never tried to do this. If you had it would be more like either "I knew that, " or "Wow,  I didn't think of that! "  I was surprised how difficult this was. As I said in the article,  I have tried all sorts of reference managers,  and this was really the easiest way to get it done.

Either way,  I have found that for the average user, my formula works fairly well.
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by:William Nettmann
I learned something from the article|blog post|diary entry no matter how it is categorised or what you call it. I am not academically trained, and this may have just opened up a new world for (to?) me.

Thanks!
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
William,

You are welcome. I wanted to somehow share my experience so that others could go right to the solution,  instead of having to plod through the same process.
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