Index/Record Number

Include an index/record number for each entry?

For example, I normally write a number on anything I print and keep an index of them in Excel for easy filing and finding. Instead of continuing to do this I could let Zotero keep track of printed items for me by putting the Zotero record number on the article.
  • mc: this is not a smart way to organize your data, as index numbers are specific to a particular database instance.
  • bdarcus: I understand what you're saying. However, I was really looking at this from a stand-alone user point of view. So, I still need an automatic way to index hardcopy items so that I don't go printing them again and can find them in an overladen filing cabinet.

    I currently tag all items that have been printed so that gets around the re-printing problem. But rather than exporting my item list to Excel (or similar) and manually adding an index, I was wondering if there was a unique ID system in Zotero that could be made visible and which would allow me to do all this seamlessly?
  • Could you put your personal identifiers into the "Extra" field? You'd still need to generate the identifiers yourself, though.

    I can see reasons why Zotero wouldn't want to rely on unique numerical IDs for each item, but I don't see a drawback to creating an index of printed items labeled with something like personal call numbers or ISBNs and then entering these identifiers into Zotero.
  • Right, One would think a personal reference scheme would be the functional equivalent of the element now called "Call No.," And then it would be saved as proper (user-specific) data, and not unique to a particular database instance.

    Anyway, I've sometimes wished for a place to store more than one call number. My local university uses Dewey, which tends to be library specific, but I wouldn't mind keeping the LoC number for things as well, so that when move on to an institution with a saner system, I don't have to look up everything. I imagine that it would be possible for Zotero to store multiple referencing labels, of different types, just as it is now possible to store multiple item creators. [LoC / OtherNationalSystem / LocalLibrary1 / LocalLibrary2 / Personal], ideally even user-specifiable-labels if it doesn't create too much complexity for the XML spec.

    In fact, if you think about it just a little, the current system (only one URL, only one Location in Archive, and only one Call No. does seem like it could run up against limitations at a number of points.) Making a personal reference label which is auto-generated would be an expansion of the concept (and handled much like, say, auto generation of BibTeX keys, ideally with some control over the contents)

    In the meantime, if you're not a historian, you could co-opt the 'Location in Archive' field, but for the moment you'd have to do it manually.
  • Multiple call numbers are still very high on my wishlist (see As I get further into my research and move around more, the idea becomes more and more attractive. Thank you.
  • There is a stable unique ID for items in Zotero -- see for some information that might be useful. The IDs that are mentioned there should be unique and stable.
  • Thank you. My needs are different from and less complex than mc's, however; I use Zotero in part to avoid printing things. I got here searching for other forums inquiring about "multiple call numbers." I think many of us use more than one library on a regular basis, and would find it useful to keep track of a single title's location in each.
  • Got it. There is not yet a single solution to that issue, which is certainly a common one. I try to make sure that I mark the library for each call number I record, and I add notes to items for which the various holdings details are particularly important. There has been discussion of adding additional identifiers, and more call numbers are one of the reasons for them. That said, there has been remarkably little movement in the underlying data model of Zotero in the last couple of years, so I wouldn't expect to see it in the near future.
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