[Answered] Zotero and Journals abbreviations

edited August 11, 2017

I've read the different discussions on the forums about this topic, but I cannot find a clear answer.

I'm using Zotero to store my references, and I'm not using the word processor as I don't cite my ref in word. Basically, I use Zotero by right-clicking on a ref and "Create a bibliography". I'm in the medicine field, and journals abbreviations are quite a thing...

Is there a way to automatically fill in the "Journal Abbreviation" field in Zotero?
If no, is there a way, to use Abbreviation Filter without Word (or LibreOffice)?

  • Sorry, the answer to both your questions is no. Automated abbreviations only work in the word processor add-ons. If the journal abbreviation field isn't filled on import (which it is on many databases), there's no way to automatically populate it later (though there may be in the future).
  • :'(

    I was expecting this answer...

    When you say future... is it more 2 months or 10 years?
  • Most likely neither. I'd be disappointed if it doesn't happen within the next 2 years, but I'd be very surprised if it happens within the next 3 months.
  • At least it's sort of planned :D
  • For my own learning, can the OP use a method to bulk update the journal abbreviation field, for a given journal? I would assume there are maybe 10-20 journals where the field is not imported, or that form the bulk of journal items. So, running the bulk code 10-20 times (or having a code that does it in one go), should bring the database up to speed?
  • I think the easiest would be to do this via a python script through the web API. That could even match against a list. So if low-level python scripting is an option and the database is synced, then yes, this can be done.
  • This cannot be done locally?
    Anyhow, I'm interested in any documentation that you may give to me!
  • edited August 14, 2017
    @dstillman Is there any chance of adding/exposing a terminal to use the Javascript API with Zotero Standalone? With Zotero for Firefox, it was possible to install the Execute-JS plugin, but this plugin doesn't work with Zotero 5 (even if the install.rdf is changed to permit installation).
  • The server API is documented here: https://www.zotero.org/support/dev/web_api/v3/start
    but I'd actually recommend doing this with pyzotero:
    which makes accessing the API super simple.

    (As bwiernik's question indicates, there _is_ a local API, but there's currently not a good way to access it).
  • The journal abbreviation is provided for the Citeproc CSL (JSON) output format of the Crossref lookup (for DOIs), as "container-title-short" (when it is available). Is there any chance this information can be used for DOI imports through "Add item(s) by identifier"?
  • we currrently are still using the XML (UnixRef) export from CrossRef and would be picking up the journal abbreviation from abbrev_title -- I've been wanting to switch to CSL JSON, but currently it's missing data for books and book chapters. Ticket here: https://github.com/CrossRef/rest-api-doc/issues/152
  • The abbreviation is indeed there for many of the citations I'm looking at, e.g. for this DOI:

    The result returned from api.crossref.org has "abbrev_title" defined, but Zotero is still not including it in the "Journal Abbr" field on import from DOI. Is this a bug?
  • Yes, looks like we're looking in the wrong section of the XML:
    would have to check if there's a reason for this (i.e. this is inconsistent in the metadata) or if we can just switch before fixing.
  • I looked at the schema for unixref1.1 and the abbrev_title element can only show up in this spot in the hierarchy:

    (see https://data.crossref.org/reports/help/schema_doc/unixref1.1/unixref1.1.html )
  • Pull Requests welcome, but I'll also fix this myself when I get to it. Thanks.
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