Multiple bibliographies in one paper

I study history and find Zotero very helpful!!!

One item which is in my papers always remarked on by the instructors is that in the literature list at the end (bibliography) there is no distinction between "Printed sources" and "Literature". This is an important distinction in history (at least in Germany). (Inside the paper the citations are and should be the same, by the way).

The only way I could solve it right now would be to handle printed sources and literature the same as now and create a bibliography at the end of the paper. Then, at the very end, remove field codes and then separate the complete bibliograhpy list manually in two bibliographies. This is possible for a paper but for a Ph. D. thesis with several hundreds of items in the bibliography this would be time-consuming and error-prone.

Therefore I'd like to suggest the following new feature (although I suspect it goes to the "basics" of Zotero and will remain wishful thinking):

It is possible to create several bibliographies for one paper. Each citation is marked for exactly one of the bibliographies in the papers.

In more detail:

1. Add/Edit citation:
a) When a citation is added to a paper it can be marked for one of several bibliographies by numbers or names (e.g. "bibliography 1" or "Printed sources", "Secondary literature").
b) The mark is set to a default defined by the bibliographies already added to the paper. The mark can be changed from the default by the user, of course.
c) If there is no bibliography added (yet) to the paper then the default is set to the mark of the citation added first or last to the paper.
d) For the very first citation the default is either set to a general default ("Bibliography") or empty.
e) The mark can be changed when citation is edited.

2. Add/Insert bibliography:
a) When a bibliography is added to a paper it has to be given a name (e.g. "bibliography 1", etc.).
b) A bibliography only includes the citations who are marked for it i.e. the name of the bibliography and the mark of the citation (see 1.) are identical.
c) Similar to current solution, a bibliography with a certain name can only be added if there is at least one citation with this mark already added to the paper.
d) A bibliograhpy can be made to the default bibliography (for adding of citation). If done, the former default bibliography automatically looses the default mark.
e) If there is only one bibliography this is automatically the default. It is not possible to "de-default" this bibliography.

3. Edit bibliography:
a) It is possible to mark a bibliography as default for the mark in the citation. If done, the former default bibliography automatically looses the default mark.
b) The current default bibliography can only loose the default mark if another bibliography is set as default.
c) The name of bibliography can be changed (?). If done the marks of all citations of this bibliography are changed, too.

Ok. So far my wish list for Christmas :-).
  • This is something I could use as well. Frequently I have to write letters that have cited literature (as in, scientific papers) but also need to use footnotes for gray-literature and non-official information sources that are in my Zotero database (such as letters, emails, podcasts, videos webpages, etc.). Right now I am just copying the reference to the clipboard and inserting it into footnotes. This saves time and works, but of course the pasted text doesn't have any connection to the database. So not only a method for separating 2 bibliographies, but also the ability to assign different styles to them would be immensely helpful.
  • Has anything happened with this yet?

    I need to have multiple bibliographies for my thesis, but Zotero is whacking them all in a great big bibliography - including newspaper articles (which aren't meant to be there, according to the style guide I'm using, but they can be part of a 'Primary Sources/Newspaper' sub-bibliography).

    It would be super useful to have this feature for as many sub-bibliography as your paper requires.
  • Nothing new. Note, though, that it is possible to sort bibliographies by item type which would mostly get you what you need (you'd then only have to insert the individual headers as the final editing step).
  • Thanks, adamsmith. I'll take a look!
  • This seems like such a widely needed task (for example, a separate bibliography for primary vs. secondary sources) that it seems odd that Zotero has no native feature to do this without unlinking citations and creating it manually (which introduces all the types of human error that a citation manager is designed to prevent). I have used Zotero for years and would love to use it for my PHD Dissertation in Church History. This will be such a basic need though that I hesitate to do so, since I will then have to manually divide the bibliography at the end.
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