What is the best type of webpage to use "save to Zotero" extension?

I'm trying to stop using it on Amazon pages, even though it's the most convenient and seems to work every time, mostly because Amazon pages have a very annoying quirk of putting editions and reprints in odd formats so that my citations will always say (uselessly) something like "1 edition" or "Reprint edition".

Whenever I try and scrape from a university press website (even though the ISBN is clearly visible on the page), the extension gives an error. Any advice?
  • Whenever I try and scrape from a university press website (even though the ISBN is clearly visible on the page), the extension gives an error.
    Can you give some example URLs?
  • This for example is put into my database as a "Snapshot".
    https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520283367
  • Well, what do you mean by that, exactly? There's a "Snapshot", but that's just the webpage snapshot that it's attaching as a child attachment. You should be seeing a parent book item with a title, abstract, language, URL, and access date. Are you not? When do you mean when you say you're getting an error?

    If you're getting an error, we should resolve that, but even when it's working, as it is for me, it's not saving very good metadata from that site. If you hover over the save button, you can see the translator being used, and in this case it's Embedded Metadata, which means it's relying on whatever metadata the website makes available, which is pretty limited here. We could add a translator for UC Press, but for now, you can get much better results by just copying the ISBN and pasting into Add Item by Identifier in Zotero.

    You can also paste the title into Google and try any of the other results. For this title, just checking the first page of results, you'll get decent (but slightly varying) metadata from JSTOR, Amazon, or Google Books. WorldCat is another pretty good option for books.

    Other folks might have other suggestions, but basically, for books (more so than for journal articles) it's pretty normal to need to make small adjustments after saving, since the data is only as good as what the different providers offer. When you have an ISBN handy, Add Item by Identifier is probably the best place to start.
  • When I say "snapshot" I mean yes the webpage snapshot. The parent book item doesn't have anything in it Title, Abstract, URL. Not even the author's name!

    Yeah I've been using the add by identifier a lot. Would prefer to use the extension, of course.

    As I'm not familiar with the inner workings of Zotero, it was helpful to know that it takes from whatever metadata the site provides. I thought it was just taking from whatever appeared to me on the webpage itself, thus my frustration.
  • When I say "snapshot" I mean yes the webpage snapshot. The parent book item doesn't have anything in it Title, Abstract, URL. Not even the author's name!
    Can you provide a Debug ID from the connector for a save attempt on that page?
  • edited 8 days ago
    Meanwhile, for books, good ways of getting the metadata (not a snapshot) into your library are: (i) use the Library of Congress catalog at http://catalog.loc.gov or (ii) import directly via ISBN. I find the LoC metadata much more reliable than Amazon or Google Books.
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