The Guardian

Hi, I've recently been having problems saving citations from The Guardian. I'm wondering if it's the problem with my system or if it's Zotero's.

I get an error message "Could Not Save Item" when I click on the translator icon in the address bar for the following articles:

I'm using Ubuntu 10.10, Firefox 3.6.12, Zotero 2.1b2.
  • The Guardian translator isn't being triggered. I'll look into this.
  • edited November 20, 2010
    The Guardian doesn't have a translator. You're seeing the Embedded RDF translator, which is failing since the page doesn't define a title (required for Zotero items) in the embedded metadata.

    Edit: Embedded RDF doesn't require that the title be defined in the metadata. Regardless, there isn't a Guardian-specific translator, and I don't know that there ever was. There is an error here, but fixing it won't fix importing from the Guardian.
  • Perhaps this is linked to the translator changes in Zotero 2.1b2? This error looks suspiciously like a side-effect of sandboxing.
    Translation using Embedded RDF failed:
    message => rdf.Zotero.RDF is undefined
    fileName => chrome://zotero/content/xpcom/translation/browser_firefox.js
    lineNumber => 123
  • ajlyon, thank you so much for looking into this issue.

    What I can tell you is that until Zotero 2.09, I was able to save articles on The Guardian without any issues. While I don't remember exactly when I discovered this problem, I would think it was since I began using 2.1 beta. Whether this happened also with the first beta, I'm not sure.
  • So when you saved articles, did it get all of the data? Authors, newspaper name, date?

    I believe this would have worked in Zotero before the second beta, but you would have had only the page title and the date, plus the automatic snapshot.

    In the meantime, you can use the "Create item from current page" button in the Zotero pane to get approximately the same behavior as I believe you had before 2.1b2.
  • Yes, if I remember correctly, The Guardian translator (?) saved at least the title and date. I'm not sure about the newspaper name and author. Perhaps I was getting exactly what you're describing (just title and date).

    Right, I'm aware that I can manually save an entry into Zotero. What I really want is for Zotero to capture the date so that I will have one less category to edit once I save an item. Usually I will need to edit the title and the author so I'm not so worried about them.
  • This is a bug I introduced by mucking around with the translator interface. I'll take care of this and #1664 in time for 2.1b3.
  • @ Simon

    Just to note, I also experience the same problem with the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (e.g.
    Thanks for looking into this!
  • So I've tested 2.1b4 and it seems like the translators for both The Guardian and the SEP are no longer available? Is this only temporary or did you guys decide to remove them permanently?
  • In both cases, you're just seeing the effects of general Embedded RDF breakage in the 2.1 betas. This has been fixed on the trunk, and the upcoming 2.1b5 will work with both sites as well as 2.0.9 does. Not sure why this wasn't fixed in 2.1b3/2.1b4, but apparently it wasn't. Still, I can confirm that it works for me in my post-2.1b4 build of Zotero.

    But note that neither site has a dedicated translator -- Embedded RDF is a standard way of putting metadata into webpages, and Zotero tries to read it when available, in the absence of dedicated translators.
  • I'm amazed the Guardian still hasn't got a translator. I thought I pointed this out about six years ago and it is increasingly seen as one of the world's leading papers these days. The website is also very clean and should be simple to screen scrape.
  • New translators of this sort usually only happen when someone is personally interested in having one -- translator work by people like me is pretty much limited to maintaining the 311 translators already in the system, plus the occasional new translator for sites that I find myself using and frustrated about.

    You're right that the Guardian would be easy to do-- a JavaScript novice could write a translator in an hour, maybe less. And I'd be glad to offer advice, troubleshoot, improve and maintain it from then on.
  • I'm not sure if it's because of the translator I installed from the thread Rintze posted or because of 2.1b5, but the RDF for The Guardian is now working again! Thanks!
  • I found this thread while having similar problems saving information off the Guardian website. Could not do it with Zotero stand alone. Eventually got firefox going and saved webpage. It managed article name and date accessed and website, but not author, date of published article or anything else.

    If anyone could sort it, I'm sure a translator for the Guardian would be appreciated by many.

  • DamianEvans: Yes, we're going off of the basic metadata that the Guardian has in the page, and we don't get much yet. No ETA on a fix, but it should be pretty straightforward when someone finds the time.

    Technical note: If we add support for Facebook's OpenGraph namespace, we can get Guardian support for free. Should be a pretty simple change, and lots of pages would benefit.
  • Hi ajlyon,
    perhaps the guardian might be interested! I will try to find a contact and time to email them. In the meantime though, I suppose the biggest issue is that I'm using the standalone zotero, which means I can't import straight from the webpage. So need to close down word, and zotero, load mozilla and do it with that. Any ideas for a quicker work around anyone?

    Thanks for the info already, the technical stuff is over my head, but thanks!
  • If you're using the latest version of standalone (3.0b2, IIRC) and the connector, you should be able to right-click on any page to save it to Zotero, even when there isn't a translator.
  • Of course! I had a word highlighted, that's why it wasn't letting me do it. Doh! Thanks ajlyon!
  • Hit "update translators" in the Zotero prefs and the Guardian page should start working a good deal better.
  • I get the entry with a few errors:
    - no author
    - the Guardian, not "The Guardian"
    - Short title

    Anon, 2012. Apple: iBooks 2 will “reinvent textbooks.” the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed January 25, 2012].

    Slightly annoying is that the single quotes in original title have been replaced by double

    Apple: iBooks 2 will 'reinvent textbooks'
    Apple: iBooks 2 will “reinvent textbooks.”
  • edited January 25, 2012
    The processor treats double quotes as outer quotes in input; the quotes used in citations can be changed in the styles via the locale configuration. If they are being set in the Zotero item as typesetter double-quotes as in your example, that could better be changed to single straight double-quotes, as those will be recognized by the processor regardless of the locale settings.

    (Edit: looking more closely at your post, it seems you are concerned with the citation format, rather than the Zotero item data ...? If so, that can be adjusted in the style, as noted above. Nothing to do with the translator on that one, so you might want to start a fresh thread.)
  • My primary concern is the absence of the author names.
    - is this a translator issue?
  • yes - there is no translator for the Guardian. Zotero uses the metadata embedded by the website. That doesn't contain author names.
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