Incomplete and misleading dialog for modified citations

edited April 9, 2019
When a citation is edited directly in the word processor, and later opened by clicking on the Add/Edit Zotero dialog, a dialog appears to notify the user that the citation was manually edited, and that opening it with citation dialog will revert it. So far so good.

If the citation was modified using the Classic citation editor, opening the citation with the Quick Format dialog shows no warning. If the user adds a page reference or affix to the item, those details show in the citation bubble when the user presses Enter, but have no effect when the citation is saved into the document. The citation text remains the same. The failure is silent: there is no indication anywhere of why nothing happened.

The user can manually edit the citation by writing text directly into the citation via the word processor. If user does that, and then later opens the citation for editing in the Zotero way, the dialog warning that the citation has been modified duly appears, but shows the Classic-editor-modified form as the "original" version of the citation. Opting for reversion indeed restores to the Classed-editor-modified form -- and attempts to add a pinpoint or affixes to the citation via the Quick Format dialog are then ignored.

A user attempting to add details to a Classic-edited citation (which might have been put in that state by a collaborator) will be understandably baffled and frustrated at the failure of the dialog to produce the expected results.

It's your call what to do with this, if anything; but a few things that would help to avoid confusion would be:

(1) to issue the modified citation dialog if the citation has been modified using the Classic editor, as well as when it was edited directly in the text;

(2) to present better information in the modified-citation dialog, showing either only the form that would be automatically generated in current context, or both the auto-generated and Classic-modified forms; and

(3) for reversion of the citation to scrub the Classic-modified record as well as restoring the text in document to the auto-generated form.
Sign In or Register to comment.