Tag Mangagement for Zotero 7 - Feature Request

From reading on the forums here and elsewhere, it seems like tags (with or without saved searches) are being used quite often to organize libraries. They complement collections quite nicely, eg for temporary classification.

There are a few problems with tags though, which keep coming up. In no particular order:
1. case sensitivity means that tags multiply, especially for multi-word tags
2. automatic tags are a menace, IMO, because they clutter up the search results with items that have only a superficial relationship with the tag in question (for my ends), or introduce tags that have an entirely different scope from mine (eg "Human" or "Biology").
3. there isn't a hierarchy of tags
4. The tag selector has a very weird interface where multi-select doesn't work, at least according to my intuitions - if one selects a tag, the others are no longer offered. this means that I can't use tags to eg combine tags or relate items or move items which share one of a few closely related tags--all of which would be very useful, if one could. Of course, you can do this by creating an advanced search and then saving it (and this is what I do), but in that case I've no idea why the tag selector even exists.

I didn't find this anywhere, sorry if it overlaps with any other feature request threads.
  • A better tag manager is planned in general.

    1. I generally think tag case sensitivity is a mistake (and there's a number of threads with people complaining about it), but not sure if Zotero devs agree.

    2. You can a) turn off automatic tags in the preferences and b) mass deleted them. For everyone who isn't in a field with a strong unified keyword tradition (like MeSH keywords for the medical and adjacent literature), I'd recommend doing both of those things

    3. Hierarchical tags have been discussed and requested before, I honestly would be surprised if that's something on the dev agenda for the medium run, but IIRC one of the newer add-ons does have some ability to handle that. Maybe someone else will remember/knows and can post here. You could also search through recent threads (use google site search rather than the fairly useless built-in forums search)

    4. I agree that a bit more advanced tag selection (basically adding some way to do "OR" and "IS NOT") would be desirable. That's not trivial to do UI-wise (most filters in interfaces work as "AND"), so not sure what the future of that is.
  • Oh wow! I was about to post a similar post about tags. From what I have gathered from Google search results, this feature has been request for a decade now. To be honest, I would willing to delete the automatically generated tags manually.

    I think a Hierarchical Tags feature should be prioritized as the lack of this function results in either short tags that are too many to handle at the end of the day, or quite long tags that crowd the tags section, which makes it somewhat awkward and again devoid of use.

    It would be great if we could create tags like “Politics > Representation” and have the “Representation” tag automatically nested under the “Politics” tag. This would make our work much easier and more organized.
  • Thank you.

    I think you're referring to this add-on?

    Discovered it yesterday, still working my way through the documentation and trying to figure it out.

    The ability to import MeSH terms is a good thing, but it comes along with all the clutter. I'm frequently tempted to mass delete, but it's giving up some good with a lot of bad.

    I've also seen a pyzotero implementation that allows an export/clean/return workflow. Which would be a decent compromise, if it had a gui. Perhaps a template file for tag revision? I presume this would be an add-on rather than core functionality, but I'm hoping someone with coding ability is watching this thread.

  • Native batch editing (using the local rather than server API) is definitely planned.

    There is some tag-related template code available already for the local API: https://www.zotero.org/support/dev/client_coding/javascript_api#batch_editing
  • thanks!

    tried out the add-in from MuiseDestiny, and I don't know whether it's the size of my library or something else about my computer configuration, but it's impossible to use. slows zotero down to a crawl, and I've had to remove it both from my work desktop (windows) and macbook. To the point where I can't even work out the features.

    would not recommend this at the moment.
  • A hierachy defined by the user with the ability to use higher levels for search for all subitems will be a blockbuster. I have dreamed about it for years with endnote and refman
  • I completely agree! Implementing this feature in Zotero would be revolutionary. Not only would it enhance the usability of the tags section for mid-to-large size projects, but it would also make the tags sections highly relevant to research.
  • Any experience with this one: https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-tag? It's from someone whose other add-ins I've used, so going to try it out forthwith.
  • I remember reading about serious issues people are having with that one. Especially with the beta version, it is hard to trust any add-on until things stabilize a bit more. But I'd be interested in hearing about others' experience with Zotero-tag add-on, too.
  • Do you remember where you saw these, or direct me to a source on this. Very keen to try it out
  • Some thoughts about the usefulness of existing add ons:
    1-Manage tags add on: https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-tag
    I installed it for a while and did not know its usability..Today I found it is very useful in case of tagging/untagging multiple elements at once, or even tagging a whole collection with a choice to include sub-collections as well.
    This is can be used to solve the issue of not being able to search for collection names by simply adding collection name as tag to all its items.
    I believe if the add-on author adds the option to auto-tag items according to their collections/and sub collections (or adding the ability to auto -tag to specific rules (including being a member of a collection)) this will be really helpful. The current add-on is still very useful
    2-Zotero style add-on: https://github.com/MuiseDestiny/zotero-style
    provides the option to nested /hierarchical tags by adding # before the tag and / before the sub tag , so if you add #main topic/sub topic/subsub topic you will have three nested tags in the add-on tag view. Zotero tag system will read this as one tag though. So this add-on does a very good job but the issue is its continued compatibility with future zotero versions.

    Hope this will be of any help and Thanks for Zotero and these add-ons Developers for their great efforts.
  • Hi

    Just commenting to bump this discussion up. Still something that would be very nice to have in Z7 or somewhere down the road?

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