Where is the reference on Zotero's document identifiers

edited 18 days ago
I apologize for asking such a basic question. These forums evidently don't have a search feature when using a mobile interface?

What is Zotero's name for wherever it stores internal-handles/permalinks/identifers? (I am speaking of how Zotero identifies a record in its own database -- not something like an ISBN or Library of Congress permalink.)

So, if I wanted to call up a particular digital document (let's say one of a "Man Bites Dog" newspaper series of articles) stored within Zotero, what do I search for the document's ID in the documentation? Where would Zotero's unique identifier be entered(?)/shown for that document?

I'm hoping that there's a way to open a digital document by identifier (called from outside Zotero to both the application & the online sync'd archive) and to poll that document's metadata. Or alternately, to paste that identifier into the GUI & search manually.
  • You can get item.URIs and Zotero select links (which use the same internal ID, one points to the synced item on the serve, one to the local item) using the Zutilo add-on https://github.com/wshanks/Zutilo

    If you need something else, could you describe more specifically what you're trying to do rather than general examples?
  • edited 18 days ago
    Thank you for the reply.

    I need to know where to find this 'internal reference'.

    Is that the name of the feature? Where is the value for a document's 'internal reference' visible in the interface?


    As a example, let's use a reference from the Wikipedia article on ISBN as an identifier.

    From https://wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number#cite_note-13

    Haney, Robert (1974). Woodstock handmade houses. David Ballantine, Jonathan Elliott. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-24223-8. OCLC 2057258.

    Assume that I download the linked document and used the ISBN to fill in the metadata in Zotero.

    I am ASSUMING that the 'internal reference' won't be the ISBN.

    I want to cross-reference the Zotero identification in my preferred open-source Genealogy software, Gramps. So if a report lists a source supports a factoid, I'll be able find the item in Zotero with little effort.

    That's because the metadata Gramps stores is minimal. Not nearly enough metadata to auto-generate a 'properly formatted' bibliography or footnote.

    And it simply has a crude 'shortcut-like' system for logging media objects. You can open objects from within the GUI but not if they are moved on the storage device. It has absolutely NO document management features. Instead, it has tools to re-find moved documents

    Yet if a factoid has been associated with 'media object', I can find that document by the Gramps identifiers rather than more complex search.

    I can seek that document by using the highly visible user-friendly ID (which is auto-generated but can be changed by the user) or by using an immutable hexadecimal internal_handle. (Internal-handles are only accessible via Python calls or database tools. But it is easy to write add-ons that use them.)

  • The reason the finding the 'internal reference' is important is that we can enter that into Gramps now by just adding an Attribute. (Simple as typing a new name (like ZoteroID) in a label field & the internal reference identifier in the value field.

    Once someone hits critical mass with the number of records, they'll start experimenting to make it easier.

    The corollary to Clarke's third law is : Any technology that is distinguishable from magic is not sufficiently advanced.

  • Did you check out the tool and the identifiers I pointed you to?
    The item.URI and the select Zotero links are both internal IDs that are most useful for linking with other tools. You can easily get them via keyboard shortcuts or context menus using the add-on.

    They do both contain the same 8 digit alphanumeric string, in technical terms the item.key, that's the shortest form of the identifier and you can use that one to search for an item from within Zotero (using "All fields and tags" mode in the quick search bar) but it's not particularly helpful for linking.

    None of these are exposed via GUI by default.
  • Ahhh! That definitively answers the questions

    not GUI available by default

    I will explore the tool.

    Thank you!
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