[Suggestion] History / change Log / Version Control / Partial Restore

I see that some of these issues have been discussed before. I would like to see some additional features for more sophisticated and safe group management. Group libraries are the competitive advantage of Zotero in our case, not the feature list or the way the data are stored. However, at the moment, it is hard to track who adds or changes what in a group. Some extra tools would be great, as steps to partial (or even complete) version control of the library.

To give just one example: if someone deletes or moves a collection with many subcollections, potentially months of work can be erased and it is impossible to restore or track this change. This happens fairly regularly in groups with many sub-collections. It is possible to restore the whole library but this will destroy the changes made by others since the last backup and, again, it is impossible to track those changes.

Do let me know if I am missing some functionality or possibilities.

I guess storing Zotero data in a way that would allow meaningful version control with standard tools such as GIT would be ideal. From past discussions this does not seam very practicable.

Short of that, some additional information such as activity/history logs that could be searchable/sort-able would be great so that manual repair or decisions on what to restore could be made in awareness of consequences.

Thank you for the advice and for considering.
  • We'd like to have some sort of activity log, though I'm not sure how useful it would be in terms of recovery.

    The complexity of Zotero's data model makes any sort of generalized partial recovery pretty difficult. Your best option for now is probably just regular automated backups of the Zotero database on one synced computer, and then judicious actions to undo the changes after restoring. For example, if someone deleted a collection by mistake, you could swap in a backup with auto-sync disabled, copy all items in the deleted collection to a new collection, and then sync. Zotero would pull down the deletion but also create and sync the new collection.

    (Also, though, collection deletions are by far the biggest problem here, and the ability to restore deleted collections from the trash — some version of which is planned — will probably go a long way towards addressing this.)
  • Thanks. Glad to hear things might be coming. A log would be useful for the judicious manual recovery that you describe. Restoring collections from trash sounds good too.

    Accidental deletions of of collections could be also addressed by functionalities that would allow easier navigation through large groups of collections such as: a possibility to search through collections, a visible path to the selected collection displayed somewhere in the interface and an ability to select a group of collection to work on via some 'favorites' function.
Sign In or Register to comment.