Item Management in Zotero and Its Impact

edited December 4, 2023
Hello, dear development group and users. I met up with a minor trouble when it comes to item management using Zotero 6 these days. Let us firstly put this in a seemingly general scene, in which we are clicking on one item that has just been imported via .ris files and added to our library, and drag it from the current path (or category) to another after reading its abstract and deciding to which category it belongs in our hierarchy of knowledge (or just for this library). In my own experience, this operation tends to form a copy of the item in the new category while maintaining the current one. The first trouble comes when we make notes under the item of new one, and followers shall come everytime we move the item from one category to another, leaving multiple copies of a single item in numerous folders with unshared notes and annotations. And after a period of time when I try to make a review, I find it hard to pursue my primitive and archaic thinking and lose invaluable information afterall. My friend who uses Endnote once told me that the same operation in Endnote would not make a new item but a reference of the old one, making the notes consistent and mageable. Hence, I would like to ask for a solution or any ideas that would help in Zotero. Also, I would like to compare and ask if the mode of making multiple references while maintaining one original item is better? Thanks!
  • Dragging an item from your main library (My Library) to a collection in that library should not create a new item. You should see the same item in the collection and in My Library, with the same annotations.
    It is important to understand that items can belong to multiple collections and subcollections. Adding an item to multiple collections does not duplicate the item.

    Dragging an item from your main library to a Group Library will create a new separate item.
    Note that group libraries are wholly separate from My Library. Any items dragged into them are separate copies and changes to the items will not be reflected in your own copy of the item until you drag it back into My Library.
  • Many thanks! It is really my fault to base my words on vague and s even incorrect memories and experiences. Seeing your reply I made a small test using several example items and collections and verified the difference you mentioned above. By the way, the default duckduckgo searching engine is not able to work normally (at all) in China mainland, making searching on the support page ( a hard task. When searching via Bing engine, I also find it hard to match desirable results with proper keywords. Your suggestion really helped a lot!
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