Notes need Author(s), and others things


If I use Zotero for myself and don't share it or send it to anyone, notes don't need a field to indicate the author of the notes: I'm the author of all the notes by default. That's OK.

But if we are going to share a Zotero's collections with 2-3-5 people, we'll need to know who are the author of each note.

I have this problem right now. I make a annotated bibliography of the personnal library of a writer who wrote many comments in the margins of his books, underlined phrases, etc. I'd like to transcript and add his notes (not mine!) to the bibliographic description of his library. So, to realise this annotated bibliography, I need a "field" to indicate that the author of the note is not me but "Jacques Ferron" (the owner of the library). A tag "Jacques Ferron" is not very usefull, because I have already one as "subject" not an author. A tag, "Jacques Ferron, author of note" is possible, but it become a little strange...

It's just an example, but if I'd like to compile in different "notes" what others people wrote about a particular book or item, I have to indicate that I'm not the author of these notes-comments, but it is X, Y, Z...

More generally, "notes taking" is a very innovative features in Zotero, and the future of Zotero is probabably in development of more sophisticated ways to add and manage notes. But now, the possibility to use it seem's to me not very developped. Type of notes (a very basic one: quotation or "personal notes" for exemple), author of note, relations between tags attached to notes to build a thesaurus, tag to indicate that a note is "done, undone, incomplete", etc. are, for me, ways to developp uses of notes in Zotero.

For example, now some could create a note with a very personnal appreciation of an item. That's OK if you are the only one the use your Zotero collection, but even for an "unique user" this kind of note is very different than a note with a quotation of an item or a more objective resume of these item. It's why I think it should have 2 kind of "notes":
1) "attached" to the user (appreciation (stars or numbers), personnals comments, "read, not read/incomplet", etc.)...
2) "attached" to the item: quotation, resume, facts...

It's just a suggestion and many others ways exist to adapt note taking to scholar works, but I really think that Zotero have to developp it.

Finally, just a question. In Zotero as it is actually, how will you do a research like this one:
I have hundreds of items about Ferron's works from hundreds of writers and critics. I'd like to collect the quotations of Ferron's works in their papers and collect their "comments" about these Ferron's quotations. All Ferron's works are already in my Zotero.

I hope the meaning of what I'd like to say is clear, even my english is not as clear as I wish...

  • Hi Bougou,

    I also think, that it is important to distinguish different notes according their author. It is really important in future, when zotero has multi-user ability.

    I need this feature to distinguish the different opinions on patents or articles (which are represented by individual notes), to gather all company internal information around one document entry.

    At the moment I use a simple workaround. Every note starts with a included "marker" like
    [2008-05-26 Meier] ...and then the note text.
    [2008-05-27 Zong] .. thats my comment.

    So it is possible to find all document, where Meier has written a note. Search simply for Meier]. To include the date is also not bad.

    In this kind I have introduced some more user-defined "special notes" like
    [Signature] Meier:2003 --> like a bibtex-key
    [Citation 001, P.3] "That's a citation of a phrase"
    [ArchiveLocation] ProjektXYZ

    I hope, that if zotero has some of this fields in future versions, it will be possible to automatically convert this "special notes" to regular user field / note fields.

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