Which type of entry shoud I use?

Hi folks.

I just started using Zotero and I have a few kinds of items that I'm not sure how they should be entered.

# Conference talks on YouTube

I watch a lot of software conference talks on YouTube. The Zotero Connector extension enters them as Video Recordings. However, the "Creator" field has "Director", "Cast member", "Contributor", "Producer" and "Script Writer" as options, none of which feel like the correct label.

I thought maybe "Presentation" was a better type. Does that make sense, or is that type intended for the actual slide deck?

# Technical blogs

This is a more specific question, about how to enter articles from F# for Fun and Profit [0]. It's structured like a blog, but written more like a book. And in fact, it's available as an ebook [1] also, (although I'd prefer not to use it as it doesn't list the date of the article, which is important when it comes to programming languages). "Journal Article" seems close to right, but it's not an actual Journal, so maybe "Magazine Article" instead?

Am I overthinking this?

[0]: https://fsharpforfunandprofit.com
[1]: https://swlaschin.gitbooks.io/fsharpforfunandprofit/content
  • Yes, definitely use presentation for recorded talks.

    I'd honestly just go with blog post for the F# site. Big draw there is that you'll tend to get the exact date in most citation styles. Journal articles will often only be year.
  • Ok. That helps. Thanks!
  • I have another entry type question:

    How do you enter technical documentation, especially if it's available in multiple forms?

    Take the "Amazon Virtual Private Cloud -- User Guide" for example.

    It's available online as HTML; as a PDF; via Kindle; and as the GitHub repo.

    I typically prefer reading online, in the browser. In that case, there is no title page: clicking the link [0] redirects you to the first "chapter" [1].

    Should I enter a single item for the whole guide as a book? An item for each page I refer to as, say, a Book Section?

    [0]: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/vpc/latest/userguide
    [1]: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/vpc/latest/userguide/what-is-amazon-vpc.html
  • Remember referencing has two main functions:
    1. Allowing readers to locate the exact source you used and
    2. Giving appropriate credit to ideas you used

    That also means that the exact way you handle any given source really doesn't matter greatly, as long as 1.) is accomplished. In this case, that means I'd keep it simple and cite the whole thing, but treating chapters as individual webpages or book sections wouldn't be wrong, either -- just cumbersome.
  • Simple makes sense.

    I guess the issues I'm having are

    1) how exact?
    2) most of my sources are online and reference managers (at least BibTex and Zotero) don't seem to be designed to handle online resources -- at least not in a "web-native" way.

    I don't know whether it matters, but my current use case is a Zettelkasten created with Asciidoc documents i.e. a digital resource that references mostly other digital resources.

    For physical books, for example, I can cite a specific page. But there is no "page" for a blog post. Should I put e.g. "3rd para.", or the section heading? Should that be a link as well?

    Perhaps articles are typically short enough to skip specifying the exact location within the work. But what about a YouTube video? Some conference talks are an hour long, so specifying (and perhaps linking to) the timestamp seems like the decent thing to do.
  • For videos you'd indeed give the timestamp -- put that into the suffix field in the Zotero add citation dialog.

    There's no established referencing standard for handling longer web sources; that has little to do with reference managers. Specifying paragraph numbers or the like is indeed the most common solution.
    Generally, academic citation styles rely much less on hyperlinking than the web. To some extent that's just stasis, to some extent it reflects the fact that academic references are supposed to be long lasting and weblinks very much aren't. If you're not writing academically, you may just be better off to use traditional links, which are both more convenient and can be more precise.
  • > If you're not writing academically, you may just be better off to use traditional links, which are both more convenient and can be more precise.

    That’s a good point. Zotero is a cool piece of software and I kinda want to have a reason to use it. But at least right now, I’m not writing academically, and don’t have plans to, so a url in a footnote is probably more than sufficient for my purposes.
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