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Power Tools: Main

Tools designed to make research easier & more efficient.



Zotero is a reference manager designed to store, manage, and cite bibliographic references, such as books and articles. It also is a powerful tool for collecting, organizing, and sharing research information and sources.

This free, open source tool works with Macs and PCs (a beta version for Chromebooks has recently been released). Download both desktop and browser extension for it to work with Google Docs and MS Word. References also can be copied and pasted. 

Setup instructions and more info at:  

For help contact:
Bill Kelm, or
John Repplinger,

Assignment Calculator

Although the resources that are linked to in the Assignment Calculator tool are not Willamette's. The tool itself can be very helpful for breaking down research and writing projects into manageable steps based on your due dates.

Select the type of your assignment, enter in your start date and the due date for the paper/project, and a detailed step-by-step instructions will be available with due dates for each step. Thank you to the libraries at the University of Minnesota for providing the tool.

Catalog Alerts

What is a Catalog Search Alert?

A catalog search alert is a search query (e.g. keyword, subject, author, or title) that you setup to search the WU catalog to:

  • Store a search to your library account for future use,
  • Or receive weekly e-mail alerts of new or existing items on topics that interests you.

How do I create a Catalog Seach Alert?

  • First do a seach in the WU Libraries catalog.
  • On the results screen scroll to the bottom and choose "Save Query".
  • Name the query. 
  • Choose Save if you just want to save it, or Save & alert to receive weekly updates.
  • In your account, these now appear on your Queries tab.

Google Scholar FAQ

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar is a search engine that can find scholarly material such as peer-reviewed journal articles, books, reports, theses and dissertations. Google Scholar can be used in addition to Willamette's subscription databasesprovide descriptions of coverage and currency; Google Scholar does not provide these details.

What do libraries have to do with Google Scholar?

Google Scholar works closely with libraries to recognize their holdings to provide easily access materials, including those not owned by Willamette.  By incorporating Google Scholar's “Library Links,” the Find it @ Willamette link will display within the results. This link searches our libraries' holdings for print and electronic materials. If Willamette does not own the item, you should see an option to request it through interlibrary loan.

Google Scholar recognizes Willamette's IP address range while on campus; it automatically provide the “library links.”  While off campus, users need to set up the Library Links in the Google Scholar settings: click the three lines (top left corner). Choose settings and then Library Links in the left menu. Type in "Willamette University" in the Library Links search box and then check the box for Find it @ Willamette and then click Save

What should I do if I’m asked to pay for the full text?

DO NOT PAY FOR THE ARTICLES!  Look for the Find it @ Willamette If we do not have access, you can still request it at no cost by using Interlibrary Loan. Google Scholar often links to commercial publisher websites which require payment for access. 

Can I trust the resources listed in Google Scholar?

Not necessarily. You still need to evaluate what you find since Google Scholar includes material that may not be appropriate for your research. Pre-edited articles, reports and theses may not be deemed as scholarly. You may also encounter errors in citation information which are automatically generated. And Google does not index all scholarly journals; you may miss important research if you rely entirely on Google Scholar.  

What does “cited by” mean?

After conducting a search, some references include a Cited By link. This tells you what sources have used information from this resource. 

Be aware that there is some debate regarding how citations are counted for both Google Scholar and Scopus. When in doubt, check with your academic department or professor for preferences.

Systems Librarian

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Bill Kelm
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Mark O. Hatfield Library
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
Subjects: Research Tools, Zotero
Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209