Hierarchical Item Relationships

  • I agree with CloudofDust and also have to say that my previous write up was harsh and unfair perhaps. I imagine to have been inspired by the disappointment I felt when this thread seemed to have disappeared amongst the many other discussions, which seemed more frivolous to me. And in the end, Zotero is, of course, more than just a great research tool and, of course, people's interests widely differ.

    Thanks for all the effort!
  • I found this post but not any other follow-ups, so I'd just like to mention that having some way to cite a journal article and note that it is reprinted in a book is very useful and in some cases critical.

    For example, I'd like to cite a 1967 journal article by Donald Davidson, but I'd also like to point readers to the quite popular book of his essays that it is collected in. The date for the publication (when in a parenthetical citation and in ordering the bibliography) should by 1967, but the date for the book is 1984.

    Maybe there is a way to do this with Zotero now? I can see some hacks that will do it (like using the Extra field, but this doesn't make the format controllable very well by CSL), but nothing jumps out as a good current solution. Anyway, I'd like to express my enthusiasm for this kind of feature. Also, if there is a newer discussion on this, I'm happy to be pointed there too. Thanks.
  • We are committed to implementing a new data model along these lines, but it's a major undertaking that will need to wait until we have ironed out the issues related to bringing synchronization functionality online. The Zotero project is led by historians and other humanists, and we are as eager as anyone to see Zotero support the kinds of container relationships that are critical to serious academic scholarship.
  • For example, I'd like to cite a 1967 journal article by Donald Davidson, but I'd also like to point readers to the quite popular book of his essays that it is collected in. The date for the publication (when in a parenthetical citation and in ordering the bibliography) should by 1967, but the date for the book is 1984.
    You can do this now in Word plugin--use "multiple citations" feature (article first, then book section) and just put "reprinted in" in the prefix for the book section reference.
  • This may not be the right thread for this, but I'd like to make a request for a hack until parent child relationships are implemented. Is there a way to copy fields from one record into another? That might at least speed up data entry if one is trying to input 20 chapters of an edited volume.

    The scraper would pick up the parent and then we would use this special cut and paste while entering the data for the children. The action need not imply any particular relationship between the two entries. The data structures would remain flat. It would simply make it easier to enter the data. It's inheritance by copy and paste, much as I would do if I had the bibtex entries open in emacs.
  • erazlogo,

    Thanks for the tip on that. However, I don't think that does anything about the bibliography -- for which I would only want on entry. And really what the parenthetical should like is:

    (Davidson [1967] 1984) or (Davidson 1967/1984)

    And the list of citations should only have one entry.

  • For my purpose of facilitating discussion using quotes (limited in length to 2 sentences taken from webpages filtered by Zotero), is it likely that Zotero in future might have alternative views: my preferred view for this purpose being to foreground notes (containing quotes); while the current view is to foreground the reference?
  • Hi all,

    Is this the thread with the most recent info on hierarchical relationships between items? If so, does anyone know what the status is of this feature?

    I'm sorry if this has been already addressed, but isn't it just as easy as creating a gui that let's you subordinate/create one item as a child of another (initially populating itself with as much data from the parent as possible). Then you can cite the children to your heart's content and the bibliography would automatically be built with only the parent's info...?

  • edited December 12, 2009
    Many legal citation styles require that treaties and court judgements (and probably several other categories of material) be cited to the several services from which it is available. For example, the standard reference for the United Nations Charter reads like this ...
    Charter of the United Nations, 59 Stat. 1031; T.S. No. 993; 3 Bevans 1153.
    ... and the case by which the US Supreme Court first declared the power of judicial review might be cited like this ...
    Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 5 U.S. 137, 2 L. Ed. 60 (1803).
    While this is a bit similar to the problem of hierarchical relationships, I'd like to flag the use case here because it may have special requirements. In particular, the cites are truly parallel; it is possible that the order or the sources to be included in the set may differ, depending upon the preferences of the target journal.

    Separately, while I know that completion of Z 2.0 is the main priority currently, I'm curious what timeline the team has in mind for the work on hierarchical relationships? For better or for worse, parallel citation is essential for legal writing support, and I'd like to know what to tell people if they start asking about it.

    (EDIT: Thinking this through, it may be possible to handle parallel cites in the processor with a special collapsing mechanism, which might be simpler than treating this as a hierarchical item issue. More on this later, after I've fooled around with it a bit.)
  • I would 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.


    PS: I love what you did and do with Zotero these last years. I'm not at all into programming (so if my ideas are not possible, just ignore them), but I do love to use open source anywhere possible (for me). Some years ago I tried Zotero and it was still a lot less practical for me compared to EndNote and others. Now, Zotero is at least as good as any other and from my point of view even moved beyond any commercial product I know. Thank A LOT for all your work, all of you :)
  • For more discussion on hierarchical relationships, see also

    (Started October 23, 2006)
    “Books and Book Sections: Avoiding Input of Duplicate Info”

    (Started June 16, 2010)
    “Entire Journals”

    (Started July 6, 2015)

    (Started August 24, 2015)
    “Hierarchical item types”

    (Started December 1, 2020 by me)
    “Feature Request: Link Book Sections to Book”

  • Since I am currently investigating Zotero as a serious citation software option, I sadly have to say this topic seems like the biggest downer for me, and really keeps me from saying fully yes to Zotero – I strongly hope a hierarchical item structure will be implemented soon. I am convinced that such a feature would really make a difference for many users, especially for people like me, who are tired of Citavi Web's RAM-eating, slow, unresponsive interface.
    From reading the other related threads I know it would be a great effort to program Zotero this way, but I think it would be worth it since it also seems to make Zotero more future-proof. Thanks a lot for considering my and other people's voices.
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