correct data fields across the whole database (i.e., EndNote's "global edit")

Hi, I am trying to clean my old database. One of the tasks I have is to correct some misspellings, mistypings, etc. and produce my new, forever-usable Zotero database (I love this program and hope to use it for many many years!.)

So, how to correct data fields across the whole database? I think it was called "global edit" in EndNote. Let me give you some examples:

- Replace all tags named "systems" with a the existing tag "SYSTEMS"
- Replace all appearances of "sistem" with the existing tag "SYSTEMS"
- Replace all appearances of "SYSTEM" with a new tag "PHYSICS - SYSTEM"

- Replace all appearances of "j Can Res" with "J Can Res"
- Replace all appearances of "research" with "Research"

When importing from web, some files have a question mark ("?") instead of non-English characters. For example "I?aki" with "Iñaki". Additionally, sometimes the author is listed as [Surname, Name1] and I found out later that he/she is actually [Surname, Name1 Name2], thus I want to correct in all items. So for Authors I would like to globally

- Replace all appearances of "I?aki" with "Iñaki"
- Replace all appearances of [Surname, Name1] with Surname, Name1 Name2

Can I do this? I don't mind doing it outside the GUI, eg by editing text files, etc. but I wanted to ask before messing with important files.

  • Batch editing items isn't currently possible in a straightforward way. It is high on the priority list after Zotero 5.0 releases. If you are running Zotero for Firefox, you can use the Javascript API to batch edit items (, but this isn't especially user-friendly.
  • Is there any schedule for incorporating a global edit?

    I have imported a large database (22000 records) from Reference Manager via xml, but this has not preserved accented characters and I need to global edit the two character combinations back to the corresponding accented characters.

    Our IT policy does not allow us to use Zotero for Firefox.
  • Is not a better way to edit XML before import to the Zotero?
  • Yes, it probably is, but I found it difficult to import the xml. I had to export the original Reference Manager database in 2000 reference sections as the import always failed when I tried the complete database in one go, and even then had to restart the import of the xml many times before I got everything transferred. I had hoped to avoid repeating this as it took me the best part of two days.
  • It's not going to be in Zotero super soon, certainly not in the next couple of months
  • OK, thanks.
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