Item Type for Commercial Databases

A computer program and web pages are different than Commerical Databases, just talk to ProQuest and EBSCO. I wanted to create a record from many databases, like Cheetah or ABI/Inform. They are not webpages.

Do you think you will have an Item Type for Commerical Databases, anytime soon?

Thank you.
  • You should generally just cite the whole databases by name or their web URLs.
  • Sorry for the confusion. I'm not looking for citation guidance.

    1) I wanted to create a bibliographic record regarding/for the Commerical Database.

    ABI/Inform is a series has different titles: ABI/INFORM Global, ABI/INFORM Trade and Industry, and ABI/INFORM Dateline, as well as publisher ProQuest. It has a URL.

    2) How does the Zotero know if the website is a Webpage OR a Computer Program?
  • No, I understand what you are asking. I am saying that I don’t really understand a need to add items for these databases themselves. If you do want to, just enter them as Webpage. A whole database like this isn’t really cited, and I am not following why you would want to have a record for the database itself, rather than any of its contained records. What is your use case here?
  • edited July 27, 2019
    I'm not arguing here for a change in the structure of Zotero but there is a need, especially among some students, for a way to cite, with details, inline databases and software.

    ... a whole database like this isn't really cited ...

    It probably shouldn't be cited but it is often required to be cited.

    Some professors demand that assigned reports contain citations to the tools used by their students. The statistical analysis software should not only be named but cited in the reference list. The online bibliographic databases used to gather items for a systematic review should be named in the report's methods section but also listed among the references. For some, this goes as far as including the bibliographic management software that was used. Many years ago this led me to asking on these forums for a standard way to cite Zotero. At the time it was clear that some here were bewildered by my request.

    At my university there are still faculty who demand that the student cite (in the methods section) the word processing or graphing software and the make, model, and operating system of the computer used to author the report. Those methods citations are required to be acknowledged in the bibliography. The university library developed standard cites for Zotero, Mendeley, EndNote, etc.

    This reminds me...
    Do I need to change the parent entity of Zotero from Center for History and New Media at George Mason University to Corporation for Digital Scholarship? An out-of-date corporate responsibility could be an excuse to ding points from a student's grade.
  • edited July 28, 2019
    (No, databases are typically not listed in reference lists for systematic reviews.)

    If you do want to include a reference for these databases, just enter them as Webpages. In terms of retrieval, that is all they are.
  • @bwiernik

    I recognize that you may be (probably are?) the foremost expert here on systematic reviews and I agree that databases are not typically listed in reference lists. However, at several colleges of my university they are required to be listed there. Several faculty require APA 5 but prefer APA 4 and will not accept the newer version because 6 acknowledges the utility of certain types of literature sources that aren't tried and true. Absurdity exists. Academia is not necessarily fair. I'm quite sensitive about this because a large number of students who attended my presentation on the use of Zotero received lower grades because they used Zotero's APA 6 style instead of older style versions. I still feel angry and apologetic about the situation. I gave guidance without knowing the idiosyncrasies of some of the senior faculty. (The instructions to students required APA style without any mention of the version.)

    I have seen reviews in academic journals where the databases were mentioned in the methods section and included in the reference list. This was the case for some Taylor and Francis and Sage social science journals. I have also seen reviews in the same journals without databases listed in the reference list. I know this both from personal observation when reading reference lists but also when, as a manuscript reviewer, I read the comments by other reviewers who commented upon the absence of the database company among the references listed.

    This isn't an argument for Zotero to take steps to add a new source type. It is simply an issue of, when these references are required, how to best list them. When I comment to students on how to accomplish this with Zotero I recommend using the report type with the database name accompanied by the year of the search in the title field, the company/agency in the author single field, publication place, etc. This requires some serious editing of the manuscript after the Zotero field codes have been stripped, but the information serves as a placeholder and students receive good grades for outrageous (but necessary) citation practices.
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