Feature request: Smart collections with smart sub-collections

A "smart collection" can be created with tag(s) from a saved search, but it seems that a "smart collection" cannot contain "smart sub-collection(s)" created from different tag(s). I could build this kind of hierarchy of smart collections with smart sub-collections from tabs in Sente (from which I am migrating), and I feel this would be very useful to have in Zotero. Their great advantage is that they automatically update, whereas standard collections don't.
Thank you for considering this.
  • You're saying you want to create a saved search, and then create a saved search under it that draws from the items in the parent search and adds additional conditions?

    While that's not possible in the UI, you can choose a saved search as a condition of another search by selecting it from the Collection menu.
  • "... then create a saved search under it that draws from the items in the parent search and adds additional conditions?" No, items not necessarily in the parent search:

    It would be ideal for me to have sub-collections that automatically populate with items on a sub-subject (from a particular tag), e.g. one for "Proximal accommodation", one for "Tonic accommodation", etc., nested in a parent collection on the more general subject, e.g. "Accommodation". The parent collection would display the items tagged with the main subject "Accommodation", as well as the items in the sub-collections. To do this with saved search would require that I add the more general tabs to all the references with the more specific tabs, and I would not be able to nest one in another. I can also create manual collections and sub-collections, but this is not ideal.

    If that helps explaining what I am looking for, below is an extract from Sente user's guide that explains the concept of hierarchical tags and corresponding smart collections (which were very useful, but unfortunately Sente is defunct):

    • Hierarchical Tag Dictionary. While most programs that support tagging work with simple, flat lists of tags, Sente’s QuickTags are organized in a hierarchy. This supports far more powerful and useful organization strategies. You can have, for example, a hierarchy of tags that range from less specific to more specific terms, or from a single large category to smaller and smaller sub- categories. There is no practical limit to the depth of the QuickTag hierarchy.
    • Implied Tags. One important aspect of how Sente implements QuickTags is the concept of implied tags. If you explicitly assign a tag a few levels down in a QuickTag hierarchy, the reference will behave as though all the parent tags of that tag were also assigned. Further, as you edit and rearrange the hierarchy, Sente keeps up because the implied tags are evaluated as queries are run, not just when the original tag is assigned. This means that you have to assign fewer tags to each reference to get the desired results, and you can change your tag hierarchy over time. In general, you will not have to update the tags you originally assigned to each reference as you make these changes.
    • Automatic Smart Collections. Sente also automatically creates and maintains a built-in smart collection hierarchy that matches the QuickTag hierarchy in a library. This makes it easy to quickly find all references that have been tagged with any tag (either explicitly or implicitly) without having to manually maintain the smart collection hierarchy.
  • I found this thread why trying to filter references that are not in any of the collection to organize my library a little, but can not find a (simple) way - a complex and not reliable filter "is not" and repeat for each individual collection and can change at any time.

    I use Mailmate Smart Collection (for email) and its operation is optimal in my opinion. It updates automatically and the rules for filtering are very nice to try (free trial, Mac only). For example, I can automatically create sub-collections by the value of a variable (e.g. year, mail client, ....).

    It would be perfect to have something like this in Zotero :)
  • edited 10 days ago
    I found this thread why trying to filter references that are not in any of the collection to organize my library a little
    @nguyenkinh: You're aware that there's a built-in Unfiled Items collection that does that?

    Zotero also already supports saved searches.

    I think what @jchallary is asking for here is pretty specific/esoteric, so best to start a new thread if you have other questions.
Sign In or Register to comment.