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Useful software tools, plugins and websites


Overview | Citation Tools | Search Tools | Social Networking and Communities | Other Tools



There are many free widgets and websites available to make it easier to find and access books and other documents, as well as keep track of them. Online social networks for scientists may also help you connect with people and research.


Citation Management Tools

Mendeley is a desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux) citation management tool with additional online access which allows you to sync your citation library between multiple computers, as well as access your library from the internet. Mendeley's "How It Works" introduction. A recent NY Times article on Mendeley.

Zotero is a citation tool browser extension for Firefox. Zotero allows you to sync your library among multiple computers running the extension, as well as giving you direct online access to your library. Video introduction to Zotero and screencast tutorials.

These tools all use bookmarklets to add citations to your libraries.

All of these tools can import and export your libraries. Mendeley can easily be set up to automatically sync with your Zotero and CiteULike libraries.

Search Tools

Search NOAA Libraries via Browser toolbar or bookmarklet

LibraryLookup Bookmarklet makes it easy to lookup books in our catalog directly from a book-related website (like or similar), recognizing ISBNs in a web page and using them to search the library catalog. Drag the following links to your bookmarks toolbar:

is a simple browser extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer that allows you to easily search the NOAA Seattle Regional Libraries catalog.

Quick LibX tutorials:
These only take a couple of minutes each and give you a great introduction on how to use LibX in your browser. (There is no audio in these tutorials.)

DOI Name Resolver Button
Have you come across an article DOI (digital object identifier) that you’re curious about? Add the DOI Name Resolver Button to your browser for easy access.

WorldCat Search extension for Firefox
Install this extension to add WorldCat library results to the Firefox Search Bar. WorldCat will appear as an option in the Search Bar menu. Install Firefox search extension.

Bing vs. Google Compare search results for these two search engines side by side.

iTools Search tools for language, research, maps and more, all in one place.

Social Networking and Online Communities

There are many online communities for scientists. Online social networks can be a great way to connect with colleagues and make new contacts, keep up on the latest research and news, share what you’re working on, and get involved in discussions that interest you.

Twitter can be a useful tool for keeping up with the latest news in your field, or anything that may interest you. Find out more about Twitter.

ResearchGate A social network specifically for researchers and scientists.

VOA3R VOA3R is a social platform for researchers in agriculture & aquaculture integrating open access institutional research repositories and using the AGROVOC thesaurus combined with terminologies specific to research methods.

Other Useful Tools

Web Page Monitoring
If a website does not offer RSS feeds or other means of updating users of changes without requiring them to visit the site, there are two services that allow you to create a free account and register websites that you would like to monitor. They are visualping and If you need alerting services for journals or literature databases, please see our primary alerting page for a description of the services available.

TinyURL creates short, semi-persistent URLs that won't break when pasted into emails etc. For purposes of bookmarking, these urls should not be considered permanent.

Web mapping portal to real-time coastal observations and NOAA forecasts.


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Last Update: January 28, 2020