Still not implemented in 7 years???+1 for this. Surely it can't be that hard..
Is it actually possible to sponsor directly its developement/implementation?
It would also be great if the documentation included a list of the different search criteria and clarified what each referred to.
I agree that it makes sense to have the option to specify the item type first and then select the appropriate field
Although I have just began using Zotero recently, I am already missing this feature. Some examples of the folders I would set up if the feature was available would include Maintenance (incl. various saved searches of missing metadata), Recent Items (incl today, this week, this month), Type (incl journal article, book, thesis), etc. All of these views would provide a helpful way of navigating the data. However, in the absence of this feature, I find myself making less use of saved searches to avoid the lefthand pane becoming difficult to navigate.
+1 for this. Surely it can't be that hard.. :/
I saw in another thread the option to add a criteria to a saved search to specify a certain collection, but that seems to defeat the purpose of the saved search because (I assume that) I would still have to manually assign each file to the collection.
For now I'm making artificial parent collections by assigning prefixes to my saved searches, e.g., "Author_Brown".
[Side comment feedback -- I'm new to Zotero, and while I like it very much, its use of the word "Creator" instead of "Author" is a bit disorienting. I have to remind myself every time not to look for the author listing but instead creator.]
To avoid ambiguity, it would be great if there were a way to search for authors only. It would also be great if the documentation included a list of the different search criteria and clarified what each referred to. (Just now I looked briefly for a clarification of "creator", but I couldn't find it.)
Thanks for accommodating my sub-thread post. It's pretty amazing that all these capabilities exist in a freeware application. Keep up the good work! :)
The fact that it doesn't do that for Creator I think is too bad and largely for technical reasons, I think.
I also do think we should allow users to search for individual creator roles--the Advanced Search hasn't seen much love in a long time.
I agree that the Advanced Search dialog could be improved from a UI point of view. For example, I notice that "Title" has a few different subfields, but "Series Title" is separate. If I want to look for a specific field but I didn't already know that it's grouped under a parent field, I wouldn't know where to look unless I tried taking a guess and started hovering over different terms.
In addition to the pop-up, maybe the parent terms can get an extra dropdown which includes their child search fields, giving the option to search through all of them or individual fields. Plus, it would still be helpful to give a few more details in the documentation under the "Running an Advanced Search" section. For example, hovering over certain terms to identify groups of search fields (or even the fact that some search fields are grouped) is not mentioned here.
Thanks again for the info. I know that a lot can go into stuff like this, so hopefully this feedback is helpful.
Using submenus for the base-mapped fields isn't a bad idea, though on a technical level it would be fairly tricky to implement. The model for it would be the folder selector at the bottom of the Message Filters window in Thunderbird, where you you can still navigate using the keyboard — typing the beginning of a submenu (e.g., "Pu" for "Publication" in our case) expands the submenu and focuses the top item, which would be the base field itself.
Doing that just for base fields also wouldn't reduce the absurd length of this menu (which is good for keyboard navigation but less so for actually finding things manually), so we might consider other groupings — e.g., adding a "More Fields" submenu like the "More Columns" submenu in our middle pane column picker.
Re: Series Title -- This comment came from pure association. I'm a new user, so I didn't know that the base-mapped fields had different names for different item types; I suppose I thought that they were all considered different base-mapped fields. I see now that I misunderstood the purpose behind grouping different terms together; I thought it was based on association, hence my thought to myself, "Why isn't "series title" grouped with all the other "titles"? Thanks for clearing that up. Hopefully my perspective here was useful for you to know the potential thought processes that exist on the user end of the software.
The extra dropdown that I referred to in my suggestion was to be a completely separate list box from the base-mapped fields that appears when a field having different names is selected. Now that I understand that they're actually all the same base-mapped fields, just having different names for different item types, I agree that it makes sense to have the option to specify the item type first and then select the appropriate field. Although this would not reduce the length of the list, it may help the user locate the field of interest more easily.
In either case, I do like the idea of listing only the most common fields and then having a "more fields" submenu for the rest. This would make the common fields easier to find. If not a submenu, a horizontal line would work too, similar to how the File > New Item submenu is arranged.
I still think it would be useful for the (new) user to know how the advanced search dialog works, that some of the search fields have different names for different item types. This could easily be implemented by adding further explanation to the documentation. For example, if I had a bunch of encyclopedia articles and I wanted to search under "Encyclopedia Title", I wouldn't immediately find this in the list, and I may not know that it's grouped under a different name. Just now when I looked for it I finally found it under "Publication". I don't think that kind of trial-and-error guesswork should be necessary. It's not always clear how the listed names of the base-mapped fields were chosen. For example, some people use the word "publication" to refer to an article itself and not the name of the journal or book or encyclopedia, etc. (In scientific circles, "How many publications do you have?" usually means, "How many articles have you published?")
Just some thoughts! Thanks for reading.
I'm struggling with my master's thesis because I have to imagine a way to bypass the problem of not being able to make a "smart search" within a collection or a subcollection.