things to look forward to.

I’m pretty psyched about Zotero. It’s not yet developed to the point that I can use it. I really need batch record editing to get anything done (and to import my thousands of already-gathered-in-Procite citations).

Where this might come in handy for me now is gathering citations from the web. Then I can export them in RIS and import them into Procite to work with them.

3 thoughts on “things to look forward to.”

  1. It can already import thousands of citations from ProCite–it just takes a while.

    Can you expand on your “batch editing” work flow? The vast majority of my citations come from bibliographic databases or from the content provider. The data is pretty good. They might require some cleanup, but none that can be done in batch. The only batch additions I need are keywording and categorization. Zotero does provide these elements. Since Zotero has a SQL backend, batch editing is surely possible. But I don’t know what the interface would like like or what practical improvements that it would enable?

    1. Hey, thanks for your comment!

      I suspected importing the citations would not be the problem, but making them useful inside Zotero without some batch editing abilities would be.

      Just as an example, in Procite I have a Call Number entered into the Call Number field of most of my records.

      From what I saw yesterday, it looks like RIS is the format used for importing into Zotero from Procite.

      RIS doesn’t have a tag for Call Number, so that field gets dumped into a Note tag when Procite exports into RIS. So when I import into Zotero from the RIS file, all my call numbers are in notes instead of in the Info tab.

      This is just one example. Some other fields do the same thing.

      The problem is that I certainly do not want to edit 2500 records one by one. Perhaps batch editing is not the answer to this kind of problem, but it should be addressed by creating a custom Procite export style, which would work better with Zotero’s ingest. I don’t know enough about how Zotero works yet.

      BUT, here is another example of how I very often use batch editing in managing my citations, beyond manipulating tags/keywords/categories. I might want replace all instances of “Rosch, E.H.” that occur in Author fields with “Rosch, Eleanor H.”.

      Or sometimes I select a number of citation records and append a string to the beginning (or end) of the notes field in each record (or in Zotero, it would be adding a new note?). I most often use this to add a note that this article was cited by another article.

      Perhaps this example is something that could be handled by Zotero’s “Related” feature. But I don’t see that there is a way to define the relationship (ie, cited by vs. cites vs. expansion of earlier paper, etc), so that would be of limited use to me.

      I’m rambling on, but I hope that clears up a little of what I mean by needing batch editing.

      1. RIS doesn’t have a tag for Call Number, so that field gets dumped into a Note tag when Procite exports into RIS…

        “Fortunately,” I suppose, it isn’t a reoccurring problem. If your Notes field is otherwise pristine, you can probably either use a SQL manipulation to transfer the contents of “Notes” into your “Call Number” field or you can massage the RIS export into some other format. You can, for example, use ‘bibutils’ to transform it into MODS XML & then use a text editor or something else to move the notes field into a Call number field (as MODS XML certainly has such a thing).

        but it should be addressed by creating a custom Procite export style, which would work better with Zotero’s ingest.

        I think that a MODS XML export style would be great for ALL bibliographic apps, as it is rich & extensible & LoC backed & can be transformed into common import formats if needed. That said, I don’t think any of Thompson’s products have this.

        Perhaps this example is something that could be handled by Zotero’s “Related” feature. But I don’t see that there is a way to define the relationship (ie, cited by vs. cites vs. expansion of earlier paper, etc), so that would be of limited use to me.

        I agree completely & have made a feature request to improve the “related” field. However, for that particular use (record when lots of things in your database have been cited by something else), I think that subcollections and/or tags are useful “hacks” right now.

        I’m rambling on, but I hope that clears up a little of what I mean by needing batch editing.

        I think so. The Zotero devs are quite receptive to feedback, so you might post on this in their forums.

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