New reference type/item: PERSON (with addresses/contact data)

We often times cite persons (real persons = people and legal persons = organisations) in our documents. For example: the names and addresses of contributers to a research document are cited at the end of the document. It would not be possible to enter those data into the address field in the article reference type.
Articles and other publications then could be connected by cross reference to the perons. A specific PERSON ITEM should have data fields like: language, email, phone, mobile, city, country, pst code, street+nr, and have a cross reference to a picture and another person item (e.g. the organisation working for).
Note 1: Compare: A webpage is a document, but is also a location (=address).
Note 2: A person is also a document (artpiece) published by life/nature/god ;-)
  • edited September 5, 2009
    Rather than a new item type, this sounds as a request to add functionality to Zotero's creator/author fields (for these are the 'persons' that are directly relevant to our bibliographic items). But I don't think this kind of functionality is part of the job description for a bibliography management tool. It basically duplicates what an address book does, something people usually use other programs for.

    Also note that we don't actually cite persons — we cite stuff created by them. Saying that we cite persons is a bit like saying that we cite dates or publishers. We don't — the key unit from a bibliographic point of view is the work.
  • If you want to collect address data in Zotero, I would put it into stand-alone-notes, maybe collect them in a designated collection.
    But I agree - those informations are best stored in some type of adressbook software.

    And mark is right: Just because you give name and address of people at the end of a document, you don't "cite" them: They aren't referenced, they don't show up in the text, and they most certainly aren't in the bibliography.
  • edited September 6, 2009
    Suggestions for a person/agent item type exist in forums and in a ticket. One suggestion was to add fields/functionality to the creator table instead of adding a new item type.

    As for address, it is required for citing letters and interviews in Chicago:

    Gilbert McMicken to Alexander Morris, 29 November 1881, Glasgow (Scotland), Document 1359, fol. 1r, Alexander Morris Papers, MG-12-84, Provincial Archives of Manitoba, Winnipeg.

    Henry Adams to Charles Milnes Gaskell, London, 30 March 1868, in Letters of Henry Adams, 1858–1891, ed. Worthington Chauncey Ford (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930), 141.

    To support Chicago, Zotero needs to add support for address/city/place in letters, instead of abolishing the letter type altogether and putting a more vague item type in its place.
  • @erazlogo,

    Starting a new thread here for the address issue. Want to be sure this is covered as far as CSL is concerned.
  • edited September 10, 2009
    To add on to the rationale presented by datadiwan, a formal way of representing specific persons is useful as way of disambiguating data; it would allow me to distinguish between authors (and other bibliographically relevant people), even if they have the same name. I see this as something akin to the author disambiguation offered by the popular Librarything website; the relationship between the names entered into bibliographic systems and real people is far from one-to-one, and I'd like a way to have Zotero recognize this.

    If it is possible to create Person objects, I envision them as including multiple names and basic biographic data, addressing some of the letter citation concerns and bringing Zotero closer to a complete solution for addressing research organization. It is important to remember that proper, organized, and consistent bibliographic data necessarily include a measure of biographic data.
  • to mark: I'm dealing with a similar, but rather usual task: how to cite and manage a citation: "J. Smith, personal discussions, 2000". Cheers, M
  • First, I would like to thank the developers for a wonderful tool. Having only created one citation style of my own, I cannot imagine the difficulty of the large-scale project.

    That said, I would also like to back the addition of a person item. There have been counter-suggestions by the developers in an effort to not create a new item for this. (These are understandable) I really think, however, that a new item is called for in this case. I think ajlyon gives good reason for this.

    As a caveat, I support the addition of a AGENT/OBJECT item. This, rather than a unique PERSON item, was suggested by bdarcus:
    It would serve the function people want in a PERSON item, and also be able to handle both people and organizations.
  • edited March 13, 2010
    I'm dealing with a similar, but rather usual task: how to cite and manage a citation: "J. Smith, personal discussions, 2000".
    I'd use interview: interview with=Smith, J.; date=2000; medium=personal discussions. In Chicago Note style the result will be: J. Smith, personal discussions, 2000.
  • Another use for having a "Person" field is to have Zotero expand functionality to connect with archive styles since the individual is often the database building block of historical-based archives. For instance, as a historian, I might want to make a Zotero entry for an individual (or a hundred) who are in my research and use Zotero's very useful "related to" field to connect individuals to documents relevant to them and also connect Documents to a list of relevant individuals - much like an archive catalogs its documents. Obviously I would not need a citation style for an individual - but as a data type it opens Zotero up to the archives world.
  • +1 for @justinnystrom explanation !

    I've had the same kind of idea : I'd be glad to use a "person item" in order to comment an author I've read - when researching in history, it prooves useful to keep a critical mind about authors as their perceptions of ancient facts surely was influenced by many factors, such as culture, events, education, etc.

    It could be useful also for keeping track of meetings with authors :-)

    Has there been any work on this idea so far (since 2009 ! :-o) ?
  • nothing new and and I don't think it's in the cards anytime soon.
  • Ok, thanks anyway

    Would you know if adding a new set of items could be done by creating an add-on (and thus how much work this idea represents ?)?

    I'm part of a research team which could very well use this kind of items and in which we've got developpers, so we're thinking of different solutions :-)
  • It really depends on what you need -- if you just need an entry for an author, you could just use standalone notes and assign them a specific tag. (and link to them using the related function of a work)

    The further you move away from this, the harder it gets to do with an add-on.

    If you want every author of a publication to be linked to a database entry with information about affiliation, career, etc. and ideally have that update automatically as you add new publication from them, that would be a very substantial amount of work.
    Zotero does currently not make it easy for you to create custom item types & fields in any case, but if you really want the full potential of this, you likely want more than just an item type -- it needs to be an entirely new set of database functionality.
  • OK, many thanks for your advice, we will keep searching for solutions.

    Read you !
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