Add an icon of "insert citation" and search paper more efficiently

I'm a doctoral student, facing the problem of writing papers. When I meet the zotero, I feel that it could really enhance my efficiency of literature review. Here are several suggestions.
1. Will the program add an icon of "insert this citation in the MS Word" on the main panel? If so, when I select a paper, I can click on this icon, and the program will insert the citation at the position of the current cursor in the MS Word. In some cases, when I browse an article in the zotero, I feel it is very pertinent, and I wish that it could be inserted directly and instantly into my current article.
2. Will the program set a search limitation for a pdf, in which the distance between two
explicit words is limited to, for example, 50 words, or an explicit word should appears more than 3 times in the pdf? Because for a pertinent paper which meets the above limitations, I found that it is really discussing about the keywords which I type in the box of the search condition.
Thanks for your reply!
  • 1) You can have multiple Word windows open, and Zotero doesn't have any way to know which document you want to insert the citation into, so that wouldn't work. A button in Word to "Insert currently selected citations" from Zotero is planned, but no ETA. You can also browse your library by using the Classic View (click the Z in the Add Citation window).

    2) I'm not understanding exactly what you mean here. Could you try to rephrase?
  • edited December 11, 2017
    I think that @kld123509945 is requesting a very sophisticated query system to achieve:

    Proximity query- If word A and word B appear within n words of one another in the title or abstract of a record then include the record in the results.

    Count query- If word A appears in the record n or more times in the title or abstract of a record include it in the results, else don't include the record.

    We set up a server-side query system for my SafetyLit database to allow these kinds of searches. Maybe we implemented it in a clumsy way but even with a fast multi-core processor, tons of ram, and just under a Tb of SSD, this badly bogged down a search of my 500,000 record database. I suspect that a similar search using the Zotero client with even 1% of those records using a typical Windows or Mac would take forever. Further although we really promoted this sophisticated search capacity very few people used it. Less than 1 out of 2000 users who used a Boolean search used the proximity or count query. That low use was a good thing because this kind of search led to slower response time for all searches. We disabled those query add-ons and no one complained.

  • Zotero doesn't have any way to know which document you want to insert the citation into
    It seems possible that we could detect the front-most document from the plugin, and I think we've talked about such a button. (Maybe some other software does this?) I think it's a pretty weird interaction, but I'm not sure it's any less weird than having to go to Zotero to select an item and then switching back to Word to insert it. I think the first thing we'll try is still to integrate a collection browser into the Quick Format bar so that we can do away with the separate classic dialog.

    For search, we may offer more sophisticated ranking-based searching in the future, but that would require some pretty major changes (both in terms of the underlying search technology and the user interface), so that'd be a ways off.
  • 1. Yep, I used the endnote X8 before, and there is an icon of "insert citation" on the main panel, which could instantly insert the selected citation into the MS word. A button in Quick Format bar of MS Word to "Insert currently selected citations" from Zotero could do the same thing, but less intuitional. However, it could improve the user experience.

    In fact, I noticed that the shortcut of "Ctrl+Shift+A" could also do the same thing. In this case, when I browse a paper (may be its note) in the zotero window and I suddenly realize that I should insert this paper into my document in the MS word, I can use the shortcut and turn to MS word window, then paste the citation.

    However, there's no instruction in Zotero to highlight the function of "Ctrl+Shift+A" (and the "insert citation" process), and I have to seek for the solution in the Help document. Well, I have to say that my mind was bounded by the user experience in the endnote X8 when I sought the button in Zotero...

    2. I faced the problem of "useless paper" when I was writing a literature review and @DWL-SDCA appropriately described the problem.

    For example, I'm looking for papers demonstrating the relationship between the "flow pattern" and the "fingering". (The two words are professional terms in the hydromechanics). When I search the word in the Zotero for Windows, I found that most of the results are irrelevant with my original intention.

    (1) the words may exist in the reference lists in the pdf.
    (2) the words may exist only once as the author just mention the word but not to discuss about them, let alone the demonstration of the relationship.
    (3) the words may exist far from each other, and one of the section is discussing about, i.e., the relationship between the "flow pattern" and something else.

    In fact, if a paper is really discussing a specific word, the Count query of the word should be more than 3. In addition, the Proximity query of the searching words should be limited into a single paragraph( the program could seek for the newline).
    I think that the Zotero for Windows (not online or in Chrome) could have the search condition and leave the search task to the CPU in the PC. Though the response time of the search may be long, but the searching result is really attractive for users. It could save a lot of time and happy mood.

    The few use of Boolean search, I think, could be contributed to the less efficiency of the current search condition. Commonly the number of the paper in a Zotero library is less than 1000. If the response time is too long due to the the number of the paper (e.g. more than 2000), the user will automatically sort the paper into different Zotero libraries due to the expected outcome. However, if the search result is far from what the users expect, or the users have to spend plenty time to check the result, the function of search will be directly abandoned and never be used again——they remember that their attempt is in vain.

    Maybe the so-called neural network algorithm and, whatsoever, could improve the search result, but at the moment the simple search condition of "Proximity query" and "Count query" have potential to drastically improve the search result with a few efforts on the software. Thus I wish the suggestions could be under consideration.

    Thanks for your reply.
  • edited December 11, 2017
    In fact, I noticed that the shortcut of "Ctrl+Shift+A" could also do the same thing.
    No, that's not doing the same thing — that's just copying a text citation to your clipboard (shift-drag does the same thing), with no link back to Zotero. You don't want to do that if you're using the word processor plugin, because the plugin won't be able to generate a bibliography from those citations and they won't update if you correct info in Zotero. You need to use the function in the plugin.
    at the moment the simple search condition of "Proximity query" and "Count query" have potential to drastically improve the search result with a few efforts on the software. Thus I wish the suggestions could be under consideration.
    We wouldn't implement these as search conditions in the current search system — that would be way too limited and inflexible to be worth the effort. They would need to be ranking-based, and as I say, that will likely happen with a new search system, but not soon.
Sign In or Register to comment.