Individual Book Authors Display as Corporate Authors in Ex Libris' Primo

We have recently switched to Ex Libris' Primo for our discovery layer, and I am finding some problems with the data that is pulled into Zotero. The biggest annoyance is that individual book authors display in Zotero as corporate authors. For example, Astrid Nehlig, the author of Coffee, tea, chocolate, and the brain, displays as Astrid Nehlig, all one field, rather than Nehlig, Astrid (last name, first name fields). The result is that the author is sorted by the first name in the Zotero pane, and the citations created from the record use the first name first (rather than last name first).

Here is an example record (just log in as guest in Primo):
(and yes, my holiday-themed test search is chocolate consumption).

Is this something that can be fixed on the Zotero end, or is this a Primo problem?

There are other problems with how Zotero and Primo work together (ebooks are recognized as "documents" in Zotero, the notes field goes into the abstract field, call numbers are incomplete), but currently the author one is the most frustrating because you can't even create a basic citation without a lot of tweaking.

Thanks for any suggestions or help.

  • Hi Hannah,
    we can look at this again in the Primo translator, but what's going on is that Zotero is getting the name from the dispay/contributor field in the PNX data, and it's "Astrid Nehlig" (rather than ("Nehlig, Astrid") there. It's correct in other places in the PNX, but unfortunately these aren't very standardized, so the moment we change this we risk breaking it somewhere else.

    @zuphilip - you know most about Primo: do you have an opinion on what the best place to look for the author is that would be universally applicable.
  • Hard to troubleshoot (at least from my end) because I can't get access to the PNX record. For Primo, Zotero tries the following URLs to fetch the PNX record:

    None of those work for me, so the import just fails. If it's working for you, then could you post the PNX record from one of those links to and link to it here?
  • @aurimas - just search for the book in the catalog. You'll be able to get the PNX from the result pages.
  • The PNX has an additional section, which already looks good:


    I haven't check the translator.

    @hannahgr : There is also a jsp file on EL Commons which will be recognized by zotero and allows picker on Primo Central as well. BTW are you running Alma already in production? We will make that change 2015.
  • Thanks adamsmith
    ebooks are recognized as "documents" in Zotero, the notes field goes into the abstract field, call numbers are incomplete
    ebook we will fix.

    Regarding abstract, Zotero defaults to the abstract field in addata, which contains the note instead of the abstract. Interestingly, addata seems like a good source of metadata in general, but I'm not sure why the decision was made to not use that metadata (possibly not present in most cases?) Can't find good documentation on the PNX format either atm (adamsmith, zuphilip?).

    The call number part is a bit messy and I personally think should be handled differently.
    can't even create a basic citation without a lot of tweaking
    Are you aware that you can just toggle field mode by clicking on the icon next to the name? (it's a single rectangle for corporate authors and double for personal names)
  • A gist: with two PNX files (first from user, second from our institution). Maybe more tomorrow...
  • (Hannah is the author of so generally aware of all Zotero features)
  • Looking at zuphilip's 2nd PNX examples tells you why we may shy away from using stuff in addata... My understanding is that especially addata is not standardized at all in PNX but allows for custom data by the customer (i.e. library).
    I've never been able to track down PNX specifications/documentation.
  • I wonder why the choice was made to prefer addata/abstract over display/description then. Will probably have to dig through the commits.
  • The relevant commit is here:
    I don't think the order was a conscious decision, but I could be wrong. Unfortunately that was a long discussion with multiple squashed commits, so I we don't have the details any more.
  • For the author issue: We should make a test whether a comma is present in this author string and then doing something like Zotero.Utilities.cleanAuthor(creator[j], "author", test=true)

    For the abstract: I can't remember why the preferences are made as they are. Maybe we should just look at some examples. Generelly, the display section should be IMO prefered, because that is also what the user is seeing on that page. The addata section migth also be more important for PrimoCentral (the article database from ExLibris). Every field beginning with `l` (lds, lso, lsr ...) is a local field and can be used for whatever makes sense locally. However, also most of the other fields can be locally changed.

    For the PNX documentation: I have somewhere the xsd file for it, but this doesn't say much (just the names and number of occurences). Besides there are handbooks (!) with a lot of other information about how Primo works.

    I cannot remember how the rules (in Primo) for the addata section are and what exactly they influence in Primo. I will try to check later...
  • Authors can be corporate authors, so no, splitting on space is not a good solution.
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