How to prevent automatic attachment of "comments"

Sometimes when I "Add item(s) by identifier", Zotero will automatically attach a "Comment" file.

For example, if I "Add item" 1902.08438, Zotero will automatically attach the note file
"Comment: The first two authors contributed equally"

I've tried toggling all "Automatically...." settings in preferences, but Zotero always adds the comments.

How can I disable the automatic attachment of "Comment:" notes and other automatic files?
  • edited March 20, 2019
    What citation style are you using? Is the comment statement in a note or did you enter it in the Extra field?
  • edited March 20, 2019
    DWL: This isn't about citations — it's about a note being attached to the item when entering an arXiv ID into Add Item by Identifier. The text comes from the "Comments:" field on arXiv pages. The arXiv translator has added those as notes for many years.

    @evdcush: There's no way to turn this off other than by modifying the arXiv translator, but we could consider removing this behavior. I'm not that familiar with what goes in these comments, but the ones in our test cases and your example don't seem particularly valuable, and you could always view them by clicking back to the page.
  • This isn't about citations -- it's an automatically attached note. You can't turn it off, I'm afraid. It's in the imported metadata for the identifier as a note.
  • Thank you all for the follow-ups.

    @dstillman : Is there anyway I can modify the arXiv translator locally? I think this behaviour should be removed. As you mentioned, they are not particularly valuable.

    Every note comment that has been automatically attached (sometimes more than one) has been just spam I have to manually delete. It's the reason why I do not add more than one arXiv ID at a time.

    Some other examples:
    "Comment: 18 pages, 19 figures"
    "Comment: 13 pages"
    "Comment: v3: Update trained-from-scratch results in COCO to 41.0AP."
    "Comment: Files to help replicate the results reported here are available on Github"
    "Comment: In NeurIPS'18"
    "Comment: Tech Report"
    "Comment: Code and data have been released"
    "Comment: Changed formatting from ICML workshop to ICLR. We added additional resnet ablation studies, hinge loss, and an empirical comparison between KID and FID"
    "Comment: updated tables and references"
    "Comment: 15 pages; fixed typo in abstract"

    Not one of these provides information I need preserved as an attached note. Most of them sound like git commit messages (not particularly expressive ones at that).

    The only attached comment I thought had potential relevance was a comment with a direct link to the paper code on github--but even that was available in the paper as well.
  • @adamsmith: Any objection to removing this?
  • I don't have an opinion either way, but this was done based on another user's request:

    I don't know how many people would be interest, e.g., in the "submitted to/accepted by" comments that are often included in there, but seems at least potentially relevant. Similarly, the fact that data are released/available, as included in some of the comments above, seems potentially quite useful.
    Some of the other comments clearly less so.
  • edited November 6, 2019
    Please add an option to prevent automatic attachment of such notes (for every imported item, not only from arxiv). Also, if possible, please add a context menu option to delete attached notes from selected files.

    In the way I use Zotero, I reserve the notes for my personal notes. As with @evdcush, these automatic comments are "just spam I have to manually delete", which is tedious.
  • @adamsmith , @dstillman : any chances this could be implemented in a future version?
  • For what it's worth, you can create a saved search for notes containing "Comment:", periodically do a Select All in that search, and delete them all in one go. (You can't currently do a "begins with" search in notes, but that could be added.)
  • Adding books by ISBN (I assume therefore via Worldcat?) often adds superfluous notes like "includes index/bibliography". Sometimes a full table of contents for edited volumes is included. At least for the former type, that is just meant for librarians and not something that Zotero needs to include.

    Generally these are just in the way and must be deleted manually.

    Rarely the notes have useful information (in my opinion) such as stating that the work is a published version of a thesis ("A revision of the author's thesis at..."), which is somewhat useful for organizational purposes, or other times including the original conference information for proceedings volumes. Whether that really belongs in Zotero seems questionable to me, but at least the information is potentially useful, unlike the most common note types.

    So I can see an argument for sometimes keeping these notes in order to avoid any possibility of losing useful information, but I think personally I'd prefer to have this feature turned off, so an option to do that would be nice, or perhaps an 'opt in' I can easily avoid with the escape key when one of these is going to be saved. (Otherwise it's multiple clicks to open the note dropdown, right-click and delete, and then empty the trash, before finding my way back to where I was.)

    Notes also sometimes come from other sources, which I also delete. For example, Google Books always includes a link as a note, which I don't need. I understand some people might want to keep that, but Google Books isn't an official source like a publisher, so I don't see why that's needed. So an option to turn this off for myself would be nice.

    (Sorry for jumping into this discussion which was originally about notes from arXiv but I was actually thinking about this earlier today, and the same issue applies.)
  • @djross3 FWIW: Notes like "Includes bibliography" are not intended for use by librarians. They are intended to help users decide if that particular resource is desirable (for example, through interlibrary loan).
  • edited December 9, 2019
    OK, that makes some sense, but (1) it's too inconsistent to be reliable (only a minority of items have such notes), and (2) why would the average user want to add that information to Zotero before deciding if they want to request it by ILL? (I say that as someone who uses ILL more than most.) It's useful to have the information on Worldcat (etc.), but why does it need to import? Again, I'm not saying the feature should be removed, just that individual users should be able to opt out.
  • @dstillman I think I think some more user-control on this may indeed be helpful.

    I see two implementation options:

    1. Automatic tags seem like the closest analogy, so you could implement a similar preference for automatic notes

    2. Alternatively, we could just tag notes from translators in a consistent way so that they're easy to filter by and delete (i.e. generalizing & streamlining your suggestion above).

    I think 1. is the better UX solution, but pointing out 2. as it does offer some more flexibility and would probably be easier to implement.

  • Yes, (1) would be good.

    The problem with (2) is that it works under the assumption that some of those notes might be valuable enough to keep, but then would let you mass delete all of them including the minority you might want to keep. It would only be useful to the extent that you decide to purge your entire library of all such notes, rather than as a way to partially use the feature.
  • The idea with 2 is that you could remove the tag from notes you like to prevent auto deletion (or for more high-tech users, even remove it from a given translator). But as I said, I do think 1. is likely the better option.
  • Oh, I see. Yes, having the option to untag as automatic notes could potentially be useful. Still, it means that most of the time we'd have to go through various clicks to remove them if we're doing it as we go rather than retroactively after many imports.
    I hope 1 works out, but 2 could be somewhat helpful. Thanks!
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