Zotero needs a preprint category




In many subjects, a lot of scholarly work appears, and gets cited as a preprint.
The current solution for zotero is to classify the reference as a Journal Article, with the Publication field being the identifier.
This is a bad solution, because a pre-print archive is not a journal, and a preprint is not a journal article.

The bibtex entry recommended by arXiv for example, asks for preprint items to be ```@misc``` instead of ```@article```, and it should not have a ```journal``` field, but a ```eprinttype``` instead. This matters not just for a typographical aspect, but also for the automation aspects.
  • I am for it!
  • There will almost certainly be a Zotero preprint item type added the next time any item types are added. No ETA, but the hope is that this isn't too far off (i.e. months not years)
  • The bibtex entry recommended by arXiv for example, asks for preprint items to be @misc

    Where do they ask this? If this is how arXiv items should appear generally, I could adjust BBT to change the entry type.

    Right now, BBT will add the eprint fields if you either:

    • Set the Library Catalog to arXiv or arXiv.org and the Journal name to the arXiv ID
    • Add arXiv: <arXiv ID> to the extra field on a line of its own
  • If you go to a preprint of an unpublished work, and click on “export citation” that is the form they provide you.

    I also *read* it somewhere, but I don’t remember where rn.

    The BBT solution would satisfy me, as long as having the ```arxiv:’’’ in the extra field of a published article still outputs both the Journal *and* the arxiv information inside the same ```@article’’’ bibtex entry.
  • If you go to a preprint of an unpublished work, and click on “export citation” that is the form they provide you.

    I also read it somewhere, but I don’t remember where rn.

    I wouldn't trust samples from arXiv to be indicative of much. If they come out and give details on how these should be done, I'd be happy to modify BBT. Without that, there's always postscripts.

    The BBT solution would satisfy me, as long as having the arxiv: in the extra field of a published article still outputs both the Journal and the arxiv information inside the same @article bibtex entry.

    That is precisely what that does.

  • Huh. Looks like arXiv updated the second "not to add" page. I'll have to update the docs for that.
  • *The BBT solution would satisfy me, as long as having the arxiv: in the extra field of a published article still outputs both the Journal and the arxiv information inside the same @article bibtex entry.*

    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I'm aware it does that and it is very useful. But I thought you were going to add a functionality that when the Publication field of a Journal article is empty AND you have the ```arxiv:``` info in the Extra field, then BBT would output a @misc bibtex entry..

    *I wouldn't trust samples from arXiv to be indicative of much.*

    They are not fantastic, but they are consistent with regards to this @misc convention.

    I cannot find the page on arxiv.org that I thought I read regarding this issue, so maybe it does not exist. But a quick search reveals that I we are not the only ones thinking that @article is wrong for an arxiv preprint.
    https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/415115/format-of-article-without-journal-title-field-in-biblatex-bibliography-entries
    https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/219189/how-to-cite-an-unpublished-preprint-with-bibtex
    https://latex.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3552
    https://ergodicity.net/2016/10/06/whats-the-proper-bibtex-type-for-arxiv-papers/
  • Here's the history on why we're importing arXiv preprints as journal articles:
    https://github.com/zotero/translators/issues/616

    If things has changed (e.g. if sites like ADS and INSPIRE are handling this differently now) we can change this on the import end of things, too, but it's really not so clear cut as to say it's wrong.
  • edited 29 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. I think however it is quite clear that a prepint is not a journal article and arXiv is not a journal, so that I don't feel bad saying that Zotero handles arXiv preprints wrong. But I agree with, and I am grateful for, how it handles arXiv reprints.

    Essentially there are two cases: reprints and preprints, the first case should be handled the way it is, the other should be changed, to emply the preprint item type you said is coming.
  • I'm okay with making @misc the default, but it's a breaking change, so I'd prefer to have more indication that this can be expected to be the stable recommendation for arXiv articles - preferably by arXiv. Until that time, a postscript can automate the change.
  • Oh wait you included sources. I'll look at those when I get home.
  • Also are we sure this is the standard for BibLaTeX and not limited to just BibTeX?
  • edited 26 days ago
    In the first link, @moewe comments that this should be @online for biblatex

    Second link suggests @unpublished rather than @misc

    Third link suggests @booklet, @manual, @misc, @phdthesis...

    The fourth link suggests @techreport, which is explicitly argued against at the second link.
  • I don't think that there's a generally recommended entry type for arXiv preprints in BibTeX or BibLaTeX, see here: https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/429140. You might need to choose it depending on the style you use or by following guidelines of a publisher. For the BibLaTeX package, arXiv entries are covered in the documentation's User Guide on Electronic Publishing Information (Archived). While the documentation might not recommend a specific entry type, BibLaTeX developers seem to favor using '@online', see here.

    The BibLaTeX documentation lists 'journaltitle' as a required field for 'article', see section 2.1 (Entry Types). Since Better BibLaTeX is already omitting Zotero's Publication field for arXiv preprints, it should probably export as '@misc' or '@online', not '@article'. For Better BibTeX, I would recommend keeping the current default export as '@article', since Zotero's Publication field might be of use for some styles. I would favor a postscript for the optional export as '@misc'. There is no '@online' entry type for BibTeX according to its documentation. See also https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/3608.

    If you import arXiv items into Zotero via your web browser or by arXiv ID, the Publication field will generally not be empty. For preprints, it's populated with an "arXiv:..." entry, which citation styles in various workflows are likely depending on. Note that the arXiv ID will be written to the Extra field even for published journal articles. Therefore, a BBT postscript should better not depend on Publication being empty or on the presence of an arXiv ID. Comparing the beginning of the Publication entry with "arxiv" might provide an optional export as '@misc' or '@online'.

    There has been some related discussion here about adding new item types to Zotero. I agree with many of the suggestions made there. Once Zotero gets a proper item type for preprints, it would be great if merging different item types could be made possible. This would help with merging preprints with published versions. Inapplicable entries could be moved to the Extra field for this to be without data loss.
  • Since Better BibLaTeX is already omitting Zotero's Publication field for arXiv preprints, it should probably export as '@misc' or '@online', not '@article'.
    That is a good point. Could you open an issue for it on BBTs github tracker?
    Therefore, a BBT postscript should better not depend on Publication being empty or on the presence of an arXiv ID
    If BBT detected an arXiv entry in any way you, in the postscript item will have an attribute item.arXiv which looks like { id: <arXiv ID>, category: <arXiv category, if found> }
  • The first point has been added to the new release.
  • @andrea.dibiagio: See here for a BBT postscript that allows customizing the entry type for arXiv preprints in Better BibTeX exports.
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