Ideas from LibraryThing

LibraryThing has some very good features wich I would appreciate in Zotero too.

1. LT uses objects as Works and Books. A Work could have different editions and translations, so a set of Books means a Work.

2. LT uses an Author object with several properties like Canonical name, Legal name, Other names, Date of birth and death, Occupations and so on. The most important the different name types for identification of authors publishing under several names.

3. The identification of authors of different names and the Works with the translations and the editions of Books uses a method called Combination.

What do you think about these features? Could they be built in to Zotero?
  • Re. 1: There has been much discussion of hierarchical types:

    2: I don't know how much rich data Zotero should store about an author. But there has been some discussion, e.g.:

    3: Don't know what you're saying; If we have a separate table of people/organizations, one could conceivably use that to link to a reference. But disambiguating authors is very hard.
  • Yeah, LT is narrowly focused on books. The scope of Zotero is different. So while the FRBR-inspired model of LT works in that context, it's too complex for Zotero in my view, at least as a generic approach (might be OK for things like books).

    So in sum, I'd say maybe a little, but go to LT if you need those things.
  • noksagt--

    1. Thanks for information about Hierarchical Ontology. It's very impressive.

    Are there any sequel in it?

    2. The most important property of an author (or people or organizations) is a canonical name and also alternative names. So with these one could identify virtually different items.

    3. Why is disambiguating authors so hard? It happens locally in a local library by the knowledge of the owner.


    I know the LT is different from Zotero, but authors, titles and other items are similar. I would like to use those extensions in Zotero too.
  • 1. Sequels are presumably books that are in a series, so: yes.
    2/3. I don't know how compelling manual disambiguation of authors is; many people won't bother to do it. Automatic disambiguation of authors is mostly impossible (there's no commonly accepted author ID & names, themselves, are a many-to-many relation ('John Smith' is the name of many people & one 'John Smith' may (but doesn't have to) go by 'J. Smith,' 'John A. Smith," "John Smith-Jones," etc.).
  • edited June 9, 2009
    Author disambiguation needn't be a insurmountable problem. There's a middle path between fully-automated and totally manual, or one that relies on some mythical central authority. As a simple example, why can't I as an author provide my own disambiguation and have Zotero pick up that information?
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