book chapters


I couldn't see a discussion on exactly this topic so I decided to start one. I've only just got to know Zotero, and think it look really great, but had one immediate comment.

I found that the way information was organised for book chapters a bit awkward, and because of this think that Zotero misses an opportunity to do something really well, that other referencing programs (endnote) does really poorly.

Putting the editors of a volume next to the author of a chapter is not intuitive. I think it would be much better if window could easily be broken into 2 sections - one which describes the chapter and one which describes the book. The word "In" could separate the sections.

Until I realized was really happening (i.e. Zetoc assumed authors created chapters and editors created books) I was really happy to see that it was possible to choose whether someone was an author or editor. There are lots of books that have individually authored sections BUT where the book as a whole has authors not editors. Endnote just cannot handle this as far as I can tell. Zetoc's interface seems ideal suited to address this very simply, because the user could choose whether each person is an author or editor, if the chapter information and book information is separated as I suggest above.
  • I have a request related to this, which may also solve the above problem... i have looked around to see if this is actually implemented in any way but i dont think it is, and couldn't see a topic on this in the recent past...

    There are books by an author or editor, and book sections (for chapters, sections) which may be by different authors. I suggest that book sections are able to be a sub-item of books, like notes and attachments are (yet retaining their ability to have their own notes etc.)

    Then item information can be passed down to the book section (book title, book author etc.) and it would also be easily visable which books those sections relate too.
  • See past threads on planned hierarchical support, particularly:
  • Hi,

    While this is a great idea (not that I have been able to think it through), and I like tim.g's suggestion, I don't think this issues needs to be addressed via hierarchical support.

    it would also be possible to leave book chapters as a distinct item type and change a few simple things to clean up the interface. (1) reformat the presentation of data fields so that the information regarding the chapter is a little separate from the information regarding the book, and (2) if possible, allow for the book creator to be either an author or editor, with the obvious implications for formatting of references.

    Hierarchical support sounds complex to implement, so I I suppose it would come down to whether if was efficient to implement these simpler changes in the short term (& I;d have no idea about the answer to that ;)
  • I support the improvement of how data of a book chapter or an encyclopedia article is entered/represented. Would it be possible to choose a single "parent" (or whatever it is named) item in the related item list? User should be able to choose from an existing book when creating a book chapter item.

    I would also suggest that when a book chapter item is created and the book does not exist in the library, an item for that book will be automatically created (can make it optional by preference). On the other hand, if the information of a book is changed, the change will be reflected in all chapters of the same book in the library. Behaviour should be similar for encyclopedia articles.
  • I agree with mysheepb & sirrahn: the current display of book chapters is confusing for first time users (no obvious field to answer the question "Where do I enter the editor?"), and it's extremely tiresome to re-enter the title, editor etc. for every chapter of a n edited book anew. Hierarchical subordination doesn't seem practical either.

    My suggestion:
    (1) As suggested by mysheepb, when creating a book chapter, the system should automatically check whether the superordinate book already exists: When entering the "book title", a google suggested search term list should appear beneath the entry field. Alternatively, offer a button "take existing book" with an extra search field or similar. After selecting the correct title, the rest of the information should be auto-filled in from that (publisher, publishing date etc.).
    (2) If no superordinate book entry exists yet, the system should ask: "No superordinate book found - create new entry for that" or somesuch.
    (3) Beneath the "book title" entry field, offer a "book editor" field by default, with selectable options (book editor, book author, etc.).
  • +1 for the possibility to create hierarchical entries. Book (a reader) with chapters by different authors..
  • I would also love the possibility of hierarchical entries.
    Especially now that more and more books are availabe electronically, it is unfortunate to copy+add the same PDF (containing one edited book) to so many individual chapters OR not having the PDF at all. Also, and more importantly, it would be great to be able to see the book in the correct order.

    Right now, I have several books, especially handbooks concerning methods, which I organize in individual collections with each chapter (30+) an individual item, sorted by author (instead of chapter number).

    I guess this will be a difficult thing to program; still, I am sure a lot of people would love it.
  • My recommendation for your case, @Joyo is to use the Related Items feature to link all of the chapters to the full book entry. That way, you can follow the related items link to get to the PDF.
  • Thanks! I didn't find that feature while looking for something just like it ^^

    It's not absolutely perfect for what I want (chapter order) but it is a HUGE step forward for my workflow. :)
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