TwitterTidbit #1 – Revolutionize Your Writing with Zotero

Welcome to the first of the Humanities and Social Studies Library’s TwitterTidbits, where we scour through #AcademicTwitter, so you don’t have to!

Today’s Twitter piece of treasure is courtesy of @MushtaqBilalPhD, who believes that Zotero’s in-built Note Editor can “Revolutionize” your writing. And well, we agree. 

Often cited by the HSSL family as a fantastic tool for student research and writing, Zotero is a free and open-source software designed to organize your research, create automatic bibliographies, insert citations and footnotes to your assignments and just overall make the writing process much easier. 

To get started, go to and download the software (you can also download their IOS app if you’re someone who prefers to work on their iPad).

Once you are done setting up Zotero on your device, you can use the software directly within Microsoft Word, in your browser or through its own app. 

For reaping the full benefits of the Note Editor, we recommend using the Zotero app on your desktop. 

MacBook Launchpad. A grid of different app icons on a low transparency blue, pink and orange background. At the bottom left corner a cross-sectional 3D grey logo with a bold red Z (the Zotero logo), highlighted using neon blue annotations.

To begin, add the document you would like to work on (preferably as a PDF file) to your Zotero library. You can either drag and drop your file directly into the library space or use the wand icon above the library space to enter the DOI or ISBN of your document. 

Home Page of the Zotero Library App. At the centre of the page is a welcome message with links to the Quick Start Guide and Zotero Connector. A panel on top of the page shows five small icons. The second icon (magic wand with plus sign in green) is annotated with a red circle. A box below the icon reads "Enter ISBNS, DOIs, etc".

Once your document has been added, double-click on it and Zotero will open it for you in a new window. 

My Library in Zotero App. In the library space, there is a dark blue line (denoting that the file has been selected) that shows the title and creator of the file. A red arrow points to the file, while to the right of the page (in a panel divide by a line) there is the Information about the file.

On top of the Annotation pane are the different tools for annotating the document: including highlight text, notes, and selection. In the top right corner of the window, you will find a small Notes button.

Separate window with PDF file opened in Zotero Library. Most of the window is covered by the text in the PDF file. A thin panel over the top page on the PDF shows four icons, each a different tool for annotation. On the top right corner of the window (on the same thin panel) are icons for the Notes feature.

Click on the Notes button and select ‘Add Item Note’ after pressing the + icon in the Notes panel. You will now be shown a toolbar with six different tools for note-taking. These are: 

1. Format text

2. Highlight text

3. Clear formatting

4. Insert Link

5. Insert Citation

6. Find and Replace

You are now all set to explore the Note Editor in Zotero for yourself! Some exciting features we think you should check out are the in-text citation feature and the drafting feature, which will allow you to use your notes to begin drafting your own paper in Microsoft Word.

Separate window with PDF file opened in Zotero Library. Most of the window is covered by the text in the PDF file. Panel to the right reads "YOU GOT THIS!!" in bold and pink highlighted text.

If you’re interested in learning more about Zotero but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered! 

Check out our Introduction to Zotero page for a lineup of virtual workshops spread over the semester. But suppose you want to learn on your own time. In that case, you can watch the McGill Library’s entire Zotero Video Tutorials playlist to get familiar with the software in just around 20 minutes.

Till then, keep an eye out for the next TwitterTibdit!

New From 2022: Did You Know You Can Watch These Movies for Free?

With Netflix announcing their new password-sharing policy, many college and university students are left upset and wondering how they will enjoy the latest movies. Through the McGill Library, students can access 7 great streaming services. The best part? They’re all free!

The Audio and Visual Materials guide allows you to access these services. Haven’t heard of these streaming services or don’t know where to start? For an easy guide on all things film and documentaries, check out our McGill Films 101 blog!

These services contain a broad range of movies, from documentaries to thrillers, old and new. Below is a sneak peek at just a few of the new 2022 movies added to the collection of hundreds of movies available for your enjoyment!

An action-packed option!

The Lost City movie poster with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. Tagline: The jungle isn't ready for this kind of action.

The Lost City

“A reclusive romance novelist on a book tour with her cover model gets swept up in kidnapping attempt that lands them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure.”

If you want to be jumping out of your skin…

Scream movie poster for the 2022 film. Tagline: the killer is on this poster. In the background are floating heads of all the main actors with Ghost Face looming above them.


“Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.”

For the comedy movie buff:

Bob's Burgers The Movie poster. Tagline : Let's get this patty started.

Bob’s Burgers: The Movie

“The story begins when a ruptured water main creates an enormous sinkhole right in front of Bob’s Burgers, blocking the entrance indefinitely and ruining the Belchers’ plans for a successful summer. While Bob and Linda struggle to keep the business afloat, the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family’s restaurant. As the dangers mount, these underdogs help each other find hope and fight to get back behind the counter, where they belong.”

Looking for something educational?

Pandemic Perspectives documentary poster.

Pandemic Perspectives

“Pandemic Perspectives offers a critical examination of several key societal issues illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic through the prism of a wide array of international experts in biology, education, history, law, philosophy, politics and more.”

For something a bit more thrilling:

The Requin film poster with Alicia Silverstone and James Tupper.

The Requin

“There’s terror in paradise when Jaelyn (Alicia Silverstone) and Kyle (James Tupper) arrive at a remote seaside villa in Vietnam for a romantic getaway. A torrential storm descends, reducing the villa to little more than a raft and sweeping the young couple out to sea. Suddenly, another danger appears: a school of great white sharks. With her injured husband watching helplessly, Jaelyn must battle the deadly predators alone in this tense thriller that rides an unrelenting wave of fear.”

Meet Your Winter 2023 HSSL Liaison Librarians!

With the beginning of the Winter 2023 semester, one building on campus has started to fill up again; the Humanities and Social Sciences Library! The incredible staff has worked hard to make the library a welcoming and community-minded space for all of McGill. As the semester has started to pick up in pace, schoolwork has begun to pile up and completing assignments can be overwhelming. The HSSL Liaison Librarians are here to help!

Liaison Librarians serve the entirety of the McGill community. Each with their own Subject Guides for your specific field of study, Liaison Librarians help you find the best databases for your assignments, projects, and papers.

An extensive list of the HSSL Library staff, including your Library Liaisons, can be found here. This semester, there are 11 Liaison Librarians serving the McGill community. Figuring out which one to contact for your field can be difficult, but it doesn’t need to be!

Here are this semester’s Liaison Librarians, all ready to help you with any questions you may have:

Tatiana Bedjanian

Tatiana is our Liaison Librarian for Russian Studies, German Language & Literature, Linguistics, the School of Continuing Studies’ Intensive English Program, and the Writing Centre.

email | 514-398-7383

Eamon Duffy

Eamon is our Liaison Librarian for Government Information.

email | 514-398-4697

David Greene

David is our Liaison Librarian for the Department of Art History & Communication Studies, the School of Architecture, and the School of Urban Planning.

email | 514-398-5925

Kristen Howard

Kristen is our Liaison Librarian for History and Classical Studies, Indigenous Studies, and the School of Religious Studies.

email | 514-398-5500

Marcela Y. Isuster

Marcela is our Liaison Librarian for Hispanic Studies, Information Studies, and Kinesiology & Physical Education.

email | 514-398-4729

Dawn McKinnon

Dawn is our Liaison Librarian for Management and Business.

email | 514-398-5499

Michael David Miller

Michael David is our Liaison Librarian for French Literature, Economics, International Development, Public Policy, Political Science, Quebec Studies, Translation Studies, and Women’s, Feminist, Gender & LGBTQ+ Studies.

email | 514-398-7440

Sharon Rankin

Sharon is our Liaison Librarian for Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Education, Post-Secondary Education, Maps, Teacher Education, and Teaching & Learning Services.

email | 514-398-6657

Nikki Tummon

Nikki is our Liaison Librarian for Social Work, Anthropology, and Sociology.

email | 514-398-5727

Lonnie Weatherby

Lonnie is our Liaison Librarian for English, American & Canadian Literatures, Film & Cultural Studies, Italian Studies, Philosophy, and Reference Collection.

email | 514-398-5031

Amanda Wheatley

Amanda is our Liaison Librarian for Management, Business, and Entrepreneurship.

email | 514-398-3921