Best way to export a collection (but not my whole library)?

Hi all,

I've recently finished my MA, and I'd like to separate my masters literature collection out of my Zotero library (leaving my doctoral collection). I'm hoping that reducing the size of my overall library will speed Zotero up a bit in terms of saving items, updating metadata etc. I quite often have problems with FF hanging when saving items and so on. (So I guess my first question would be - is that likely to make a difference?)

So far I've tried exported the masters collection using Zotero RDF (inc. notes and files). I then created a new Zotero folder in another location and imported the collection. The items seemed to be exported over intact, but for a number of the items I found that attachments (pdf's, notes) were duplicated. I.e., some items now have multiple copies of the same attachment, each in a separate storage folder.

I also noticed that the zotero-sqlite file for the new Zotero library is much smaller (`1mb) than the sqlite file for the original complete library (~26mb), despite the exported collection comprising close to half of the size of the total collection, which I'm a bit confused by. Would the original sqlite file accumulate redundant data/entries over time, or is this more likely to indicate problems with the export?

The main alternative I can see in terms of splitting up the collections would be to copy the entire Zotero folder for the original/total collection to another location; then delete the doctoral collection from that, and delete the masters collection from the original library. Is this the best way?
  • I think your alternative method is better - e.g. if you ever want to access the citations in your MA thesis again you wouldn't be able to with a library created from RDF export. Also, as you note yourself, RDF export is good, but not flawless.
    Just be very, very sure that you have syncing turned off during the entire process - maybe best do it with internet disconnected :-). Generally I'd only suggest doing this if you don't expect to switch between the two databases a lot. If you switch a lot, finding other ways to improve Zotero performance, most notably adjusting indexing (or turning it off) might be preferable.

    The size of the database could be due to a number of things, I'd guess that the indexing of pdfs and snapshots would play a role, probably some other things - I wouldn't be very concerned.
  • Thanks Adam, advice makes a lot of sense!
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