Sorting by Date column

This discussion was created from comments split from: Date format.
  • I want to sort my items in order by the date column. But Zotero does not seem to sort them in the order I want. I.e. starting with the earliest. I have tagged several items and want to sort them in a time-line way. Is there a standard date format to enter date information in Zotero? I really want to get the sorting right.
  • If you click in the header of the columnar library list (in the year, date added, or date modified columns) you can toggle / choose to sort with most recent entry on top or inversely most distant on top.
  • Thank you. I am aware of this function. But Zotero will still not get it right. I suspect it is because the way that the date-data is inserted i.e. not uniform. That is why I am wondering if there is a uniform standard way to enter dates in Zotero so that it gets the sorting right?
  • You'd have to say what problems you're seeing.

    Zotero is quite liberal in allowing data entry -- e.g. December 13, 2019, 2019-12-13, 13.12.2019 and 12/13/2019 are all recognized as today's date*. The last two, though, are tricky when the month/day order is ambiguous. Zotero decides whether to interpret 12/11/2019 as November 12 or December 11 based on your locale. You can see what it does based on the order of the letter mdy next to the year.

    If you want to be certain a date is parsed correctly, used one of the two first options, i.e. spell out the month or use ISO (YYYY-MM-DD) format.

    *as is the literal word "today"
  • Ok, thank you. So if I just format everything in the same standard way I guess I will get the order right. And suppose I add the reference to my document with say a Harvard format will it then get only the year? I notice it sometimes adds the entire date.
  • Zotero will display the date according to the citation style, yes. That's typically just year in Harvard, but in some Harvard styles (e.g. APA) would indeed be the full date for some item types such as newspaper articles.
  • Ok, another question. What does it mean when the figures "y m d" appear? Does it mean that Zotero correctly has recognized the formatting?
  • It's showing the date parts that were parsed and what order they were in.
  • edited April 14, 2020
    Ok, thank you, now things are in better order I decided to just follow the ISO standard.
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