Does this exist: easy switch between saving whole article vs just citation?

When I'm evaluating articles for inclusion in Zotero, often I'd like to simply save the citation info, although in other cases I still want to save the whole article (eg, the PDF).

Here's the timesaver: I'd like to be able to switch from one mode to the other at the moment I click on the Zotero icon in the browser toolbar.

Maybe one can already do this in Zotero, but I have not found out how.

To illustrate what I mean, here's one way I might design this feature: Have a default setting inside Zotero or the browser extension: save either whole article or citation only. Alter the browser extension GUI so that at time of saving the article I could check/uncheck a box that causes citation only to be saved.

(I know how to eliminate an already-downloaded PDF/attachment. I have used zbib but, while a great tool, I find it a bit clunky/time-consuming getting the cite into Zotero via that route. Maybe just b/c I seldom use zbib.... Perhaps there is a better way than I've found to achieve my goal: quick switch from whole article to citation-only mode.)
  • I see one path that may meet my need: it looks like a Google Scholar page having just a single article is typically handled by Zotero Connector by its saving just the citation info.
  • I would strongly suggest not saving items from Google Scholar—its citation info tends to be quite poor.

    Do you more often want to save just the citation or the article as well? Are you usually saving off-campus or on-campus where you have access to your library resources?
  • Thanks, didn't realize G Scholar is untrustworthy.

    The balance between citation/whole article is hard to say because the "must have" (save article) is always on, while the "nice to have" (save citation) hardly ever happens. Right now, since I don't know an easy way to switch btw them when saving, I avoid saving citations almost all the time. If I could easily switch, then I would find out just how often I'd like to save citation only.
  • To add on: what I know is that I often would save citation only but the extra trouble of doing so deters me. So maybe most people adapt to the extra effort, and I should do so.
  • edited 14 days ago
    Just to be clear, you're just asking for metadata vs. metadata + PDF options in the save button context menu?

    That's planned.
  • I understand your situation. Which case is roughly more common for you? Just the citation or just the article?
  • To be as clear as possible, in this new mode I would want to eliminate "heavy" pieces of data like PDFs or copies of web pages.

    What I want is this, ideally:
    a) enough metadata so I can create a citation like what Zotero presently supports
    b) the abstract if the source provides one
    c) a URL/DOI as appropriate

    The spirit of what I want is to reduce the data overhead for sources that I deem less essential to my research, but which I still want to keep track of.

    Perhaps what I'm looking for is already there and I haven't stumbled across it?

    To answer bwiernik's question: I can only guess how much I'd use this feature: I'll guess in about half of the sources.
  • Like dstillman says, finer control options in the Connector for saving attachments vs not is planned but not currently possible.

    For now, if you more often don’t want the file, then I would disable saving attachment files. Then, if you do want the attachment, you can open the PDF page in your browser, click the save to Zotero button again (it will have a PDF icon), and merge the two items.

    Personally, I would recommend just always saving the attachments and not worrying about the storage space.
  • Thanks for helping. I look forward to Zotero getting this improvement though I doubt it'll be anytime soon.

    My workaround: dump these less essential sources into a "to scan" folder. Then review the folder to delete, or move to correct folder with or w/o attachment.
  • edited 13 days ago
    Do you understand what we're telling you, though? You have always been able to turn off both PDF and snapshot saving from the Zotero preferences. You seem to not fully understand the basic terminology here (metadata vs. attachments), which suggests you may not be aware of the existing settings. Depending on how comfortable you are Cmd-Tabbing or Alt-Tabbing between programs, even adjusting those before saving each time would not be particularly difficult.
  • Thanks for pointing out the basic on/off switch. I figured Zotero might have one but it wasn't worth checking since it does not resolve the issue I raised.

    (A use case of approx 50/50 with/without attachments argues to me for easy ability to switch in the Connector window at time of save. I hope it makes the new feature cut someday.)

    Thanks for your continued good work on Zotero, it's one of my most important tools for learning.

    Appreciate all the suggestions and help given in this thread. They may help some others having different use cases to mine.
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