Scan title and abstract to add pre-existing tags to the item

There was a functionality of Reference Manager that I somewhat miss. The Reference Manager version I used long ago would scan the title and abstract of a new item and automatically add tags (which already existed in the database) to the tags section of the item. For example if the Title of a newly added article was "Electron spin in relativity-based model" and the database already has "ELECTRON SPIN" and "RELATIVITY", then those tags would be automatically added to the TAGS of the article being added to my database. Does it make sense?

Is there a way to do this in Zotero? Or, what would be a good approach if you are used to search by tags?
  • In the Zotero Preferences, there is an option to automatically tag items with keywords and subject headings on import. In the tags pane when an item is selected, these tags are shown with a red icon (versus the blue for manually-added tags). There is not currently a way re-fetch automatic tags for existing items, but you could go to the website for the item and re-import it, then merge the two items (the two tag sets will be merged).
  • OK, it doesn't seem to be working in my case... is there a way to debug this?
    Or maybe there's an issue with lower case vs upper case letters? For example if my pre-existing tag is "RELATIVITY" and the title says "Relativity" or "relativity", would Zotero recognize the tag and add "RELATIVITY" in the item?
  • edited 6 days ago
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  • edited 6 days ago
    The tags are added on import from the Zotero connector in your browser. They are dependent on the metadata structure from the website you import from (i.e., Zotero isn't processing these data itself from the title or abstract, but using the site-provided headings and keywords). What site are you trying to import an item from?
  • Thanks for your reply.
    In this particular case, my client needs an article about animal studies, this is the DOI: 10.1016/0003-3472(77)90053-7
    The website is Science Direct:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0003347277900537

    The title has "Prey selection" and "search strategy", both pre-existing tags in the database. But when I import the article, no tags are added.
  • ScienceDirect doesn't appear to supply any keyword information in its metadata, so Zotero doesn't have anything to import as a tag. Other sites do supply such information.
  • Thanks. How know if a given website includes keywords?
  • The easiest way is to just import the item and see (making sure that the automatic tags setting is enabled). Most publisher sites (and also discipline aggregators like PubMed) have keyword data. Most journal pages that show the full text of the article as HTML (versus only as a link to the PDF like the page you linked to) will also be able to send keywords/headings to Zotero. For example, here is a ScienceDirect page that will send keywords: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001879117300350
  • edited 6 days ago
    Thank you, it works as you described.
    Still, if I understand correctly this is only for websites that offer keywords as metadata and not as I my original question (ie scan title and abstract), right?
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