Feature request: typed related items

The feature for related items is handy, but would be even more useful if it supported (optionally) assigning types to each related item, such as "reprint of" or "translation of". This might be useful in several situations, but the one I have in mind in particular is for export to Bib(La)TeX. See in particular section 3.5 of the BibLaTeX manual. At the moment, I'm using BetterBibTeX and somewhat duplicating information about the related item in the Extra field.
  • I would like to second this suggestion, albeit for a different use case. So far, what kept me the most from migrating from citavi to zotero was that I cannot migrate all of those designated "cites" and "cited by" relations between items, and that I cannot relate a dependent item with the collection/proceeding-item it was published in. Of course, it would be great to have a direct link from the "Proceedings Title"-field to the proceeding-item, as well as dedicated cites/cited by-fields, but typed relations could be a viable workaround.
  • Yes, that's another good use case.
  • I could use relation types to reflect articles that review the original source, new editions of the original source, and additional volumes of the source or items in the same series. I like the idea of specifying the nature of the related material.
  • I hope that in the relatively near future a paper's citations list and its 'cited-by' list (which would need updating from time to time) will become separate and formal parts of an item's metadata in Zotero (currently those two are only retrievable via a few plugins). That information is now commonly available from some of the online repositories that Zotero already uses for other metadata retrieval. As part of that, Zotero could also check if all those citations/cited-by papers are already in your library, and link to those that are.

    If and when that happens, the need to use the Related tab to manually establish links to other items in your library in those two categories would disappear. So the applications of the Related tab would diminish.

    But then and now, I do agree that it would be very useful to be able to add information to items under Related, that basically explains why you have related them to the current item. As it stands, my Related tab is a mishmash of papers cited by the current paper (that I've got around to finding/adding there), reminders to me of other related items (eg more recent advances on the methodology, contrary findings, commentaries, letters to the editor, later book editions, full paper that follows conference papers), etc. ... but with no way to signify why I related them. The fact that Related only displays the title is also a limitation (hovering over that could perhaps display authors etc).

  • Zotero's relations are in fact typed I just realized. You just can't choose the type freely.
  • wait what? In the database or in RDF export?
  • edited February 5, 2024
    I don't see them in the RDF, but the as-we-speak building BBT will show them in the BBT JSON. Relations in Zotero translators look like
    "relations": {
    "dc:relation": [

    and besides dc:relation I've also seen owl:sameAs which is probably used to track object merges.
  • edited February 5, 2024
    In the database itemRelations has a predicateID column which takes values from relationPredicates. owl:sameAs isn't in there, but the database design seems to allow more types (as would specialized urls carrying a type).

    But the last time I tried to add stuff there and sync I thoroughly wedged my account, and the only way out I saw at the time was to delete everything through the web interface and re-sync from my unb0rked local data.
  • dc:relation just marks that a relationship exists by specifying the URI as Zotero does. Relationship type would be something like cite/isCitedBy, isPartOf/hasAsPart etc. It necessarily requires a triplet.
    See e.g. https://www.dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/rdf-relation-types/ for the RDF relation types in DC

  • I'm sure I saw owl:sameAs but merge tracking seems to happen using dc:replaces.
  • Ah I see. But the DB design would allow ore predicates, and the URL could carry information about its type.
  • owl:sameAs is for items copied between libraries.
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