Multiple Dates for Published and Re-Published

Hi All,

I have looked through the archives and can't find the following:

I need to put in the date field dates that read like this: 1977 [1964]

This is the standard when citing a book that you used in its republished edition, but you need to indicate the original publication. I use this all the time, but Zotero only displays the 1977.

I also need to write dates for sources that span many years: 1921-1928

Again, Zotero only displays the first date in notes and bibliography.

I mentioned this before, but have not seen any movement. Anyone else need this functionality?

Is there a work around?


Daniel Michon
  • there's plenty of threads on this - if you search, e.g. for original date of publication and the like.
    People do want it, it's on the agenda, and will most likely be introduced along with the new CSL processor currently under development (and pretty far ahead) by Frank Bennett.
    A whole lot of options - including original dates, date ranges, b.c. dates - will be possible.

    Unfortunately, there is no reasonable workaround atm.
  • Dear Adam,

    Thanks for the prompt response! Yeah, I saw all the threads, but I was looking for a work around and didn't really find one, so now I know that I just need to be patient and wait, which I can do.

    Do you have an idea of when the new CSL processor might come out? Just wondering.

    Thanks for all you help - love Zotero, it has already saved me huge amounts of time and hassle, so manually editing my bibliography at the very end of my writing process is a small inconvenience.

    Take care,

  • Can't speak for when the new processor will come out in Zotero, but as adamsmith says, work is proceeding apace. The processor itself won't do anything exceptional with dates, though; things will work pretty much the way they do now, although there will be some changes "under the hood".

    For dates of original publication, there is already a variable name in CSL (called, as you might expect, "original-date"), which is meant for this purpose. As far as I know, it is not currently enabled in Zotero. I believe (though I might be wrong) that it's currently on hold because the intention is to cover this use case (and many others) through a system of hierarchical relations between items, which will take some time to develop and deploy.
  • Thanks fbennet. Wow, so there is an "original date" variable in CSL, it would be great to get this enabled.

    I just finished an article which dealt with 17th-19th century archaeology in India in which many of the articles and books have been republished in the 1970s. So, after I was done I had to flatten all the codes and then go back footnote by footnote, and then through each entry in the bibliography, to put in original dates and add multiple years. Still love Zotero, but this kind of defeated the purpose of Zotero.

    Anyway, thanks for all the work and I hope original date and multiple years in the date variable come soon.

    Take care,

  • Just a note of agreement that this is a critical element of a bibliography. I currently have all of my 'original dates' in brackets, but, as noted here and elsewhere, zotero ignores them.

    To aid in sorting / time-lining etc of references, perhaps when doing data entry in Zotero, the "original date" would be assumed to be the same as the principal date, (ie., by default the principal date would also be entered into the 'original' date field), unless the user were to select a + button next to the date and manually change the original date? If this were so, then sorting of the zotero database, or ordering of chronological bibliographies, could be accomplished by using either the 'principal' date or the 'original' date (with the 'original' field displaying the same as the 'principal' field unless altered by the user)?

  • edited December 12, 2009
    I have an temporary and imperfect workaround, having run into this problem myself.

    You can use the page number field to add an extra date. That is, when inserting a reference, use the page # field to add: "[date]". Now, this only works assuming a couple of things:

    1) you then manually delete the ":" that is inserted into that field
    2) you print before refreshing all your sources, otherwise the ":" will return.

    Its not great, but for those needing to print a final document with multiple dates, this is an option.
    Of course, you can always manually add dates to an in-text citation, again provided you don't refresh your citations before saving/printing.


  • Dear All,

    I just downloaded the new Firefox and the new Zotero. As far as I can tell, we still cannot put in multiple dates. It does not allow a range, such as 1937-1966 (which is important for multi-volume works by one person) or original dates such as 1937 [1844].

    Is this still the case or am I missing something?

    I have searched these forums as well and have yet to find any conclusive evidence concerning the new Zotero.

    Thanks for your time,

    Daniel Michoin
  • It is still not possible to enter original dates. The new CSL processor discussed in this thread is going to come out with Zotero 2.1, but I don't know if Zotero will have orginal dates implemented by then. Here is a thread with more recent posts: Zotero Forums - Original Date of Publication
  • A slight update to what I wrote above: we ended up going the distance to include date ranges in CSL 1.0.
  • Dear All,

    I just downloaded the standalone, and I still can get my dates with dashes to work. In the date field, if I put "1947-48" I get back "48 1947". So, it is doing something. I tried a backslash "/", but that doesn't work either.

    Just wondering if there will be a revised date field any time soon.

    Also, let me say, I LOVE zotero and appreciate all the work you all do on it. I am not complaining, just wondering. For my field, archaeology, many, many sources are multiple dates.


  • Hi, I'm checking in on this too. Does Zotero 3.x use CSL 1.0? And is there now support for date ranges in Zotero? Finally, does this mean that Zotero is close to supporting original date of publication?

    Thanks for any news or insight.
  • <blockquote> [1]Does Zotero 3.x use CSL 1.0? [2]And is there now support for date ranges in Zotero? [3]Finally, does this mean that Zotero is close to supporting original date of publication? </blockquote>
    [1] yes
    [2] no
    [3] certainly closer, but I don't think full support for date ranges is going to happen before the next major version (or rather it's beta).
  • Hi, some 6 months after the last post, is it possible to know whether this option is about to become available?

    I have used an obvious and very imperfect workaround for date ranges: writing say 198285 for 1982-1985. This does come out in the bibliography and looks odd enough to be spotted when cleaning things up at the end.


  • I don't speak for the devs but, as far as I understand, this won't be in the next Zotero version (3.1?) , which will be released before November 20th (due to necessary Firefox compatibility updates).
    We've to wait a couple of more months, I guess.
  • Dear All,

    I am coming back to this thread almost 4 years later!

    First, I will say how much I love Zotero. It is amazing. I used if for my last book, and it saved so much time. It made my project so much easier. So, thanks.

    I am now starting my next project, and I am hoping that the work arounds I used for the date field are no longer necessary, but I think they might be. That is:

    Is it possible to put in date ranges, multiple dates, and original dates?

    I think not. 2006/2007 shows up as "2007 2006", etc.

    Just checking in -- am I missing a new development where dates can be more that just four numbers?


  • original date works well via a workaround as described here:

    nothing new on date ranges, though.
  • Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the information. No worries, I will use my workaround.

    Again, love Zotero, thanks for all the hard work.

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