Unique Item Identifier (UID)

Does Zotero have the ability to assign a 'unique item identifier' (UID) to an entry?

Here's the scenario:
- I take most of my original notes on a 3x5 card... akin to Luhman's ZettleKasten.
- I label each card (item) with the date & time of the note, adding any appropriate tags.
- If it's a passage from a document, I'll reference *that* in the note with the UID of the referenced document (or item, or event, or circumstance).
- This identifier is used only by me in my own research, irrelevant once published.

The linkage I need is not only to tie one item to another seemingly disparate item, but to discern the full linkage/thread which got me from one to the other.

Or do I just manually rename each item, prefacing each entry with a manual UID?

Thanks
  • Zotero items have unique identifiers that you can get in a number of ways. I'd look at the zutilo add-on and Zotero item URIs or select links (forgot how zutilo refers to the latter)
  • Thanks for the info.

    To clarify, I need to be able sort/filter all the items... that being ALL the items in my entire Zotero database, as the vast majority are my own personal notes & entries, which are not extracted from, nor predicated, on any external information.

    I need the ability to have a unique item identifier (UID) within my own closed system.

    Thanks to all who chime in.
  • What I describe above are unique IDs assigned to every item in Zotero. Have you looked at them? If they don't work for you, could you clarify why not?
  • Sorry, but I'm not seeing HOW to find the "Zotero item URIs" to which you're referring. Can you please walk me through the steps on getting them onto my screen and then sorting & filtering with them...?
    Thanks
  • Install the Zutilo plugin. Right click on the item. In the context menu, under Zutilo, choose Copy Zotero URI or Copy Zotero Select Link
  • To 'bwiernik':
    The Zutilo plugin in the context menue only offers to options:
    - Copy or Open Zotero URIs.
    - Doing so takes me to the Zotero web interface, where the only place I can 'see' a unique ID in in the URL... not what I need.
    - see below

    To 'adamsmith':
    I am NOT looking for a DOI or ISBN, or anything as such...
    ... what I need is the ability to either see the unique ID for any single item, or the ability to create one, ala the Zettelkasten Method, per Luhmann.

    To you both: I can find nothing in the User Guide or Support Documentation to show that this is even a feature of Zotero. If that is the case, I just need to know if this is actually possible, or if it will be offered as a capability in a future update.

    Many Thanks... Marek
  • You're just not very precise in what you want, and so we're not understanding it, apparently.

    A URI, as exists for every Zotero item and can be easily copied to the clipboard using Zutilo, *is* a unique identifier. What's wrong with that? What do you want the identifier to do? (since uniquely identifying, as the URI does, apparently isn't sufficient). Or is the problem that you want that to be visible in the interface without using the clipboard? That's not possible and likely won't be.
  • Dear Mr. Smith,

    FTLOG, I asked & then rephrased my question 3X... I can't be more precise.

    I can't see a URI in Zotero... not in the desktop, nor the web interface.
    I want it to be visible while I enter & retrieve information.

    I want to see it.
    I want to organize with it.

    You say that it is not, nor ever will be, a feature of Zotero.

    Plugins to add features to Zotero create nothing more than a Rube Goldberg solution.

    In reviewing the forums & discussions, it's clear I'm not the only one out here in the ether who wants this capability. It's a simple ask.

    That's all I wanted to know.

    Thanks & Good Luck... Marek
  • Plugins to add features to Zotero create nothing more than a Rube Goldberg solution.
    (clutches pearls) Quick, someone tell Microsoft, Mozilla, Google and Apple about this plugin danger, before things get out of hand!

    Plugins as a concept are a fantastic feature, and Zotero, nor any other modern reference manager, would exist without them. A major part of the everyday use of Zotero centers around a browser plugin to capture references, and the Word plugin to insert references in your documents. Certainly you wouldn't prefer to retype everything, and then copy-paste into Word?

    Plugins mean that the Zotero team can focus on core functionality, and the ecosystem around it can take care of niche (big or small) needs. Plugins are the core differentiator of Zotero against lesser reference managers. Try telling Elsevier you want to have this UID visible. If they respond at all it will be to tell you to go pound sand, and, crucially, there's nothing else that you can do but gnash your teeth. The functionality you want can be whipped up in a zotero plugin in an hour. And you need not wait for Zotero's action or permission to do it.
  • Look, fellas

    I asked a simple & clear question & was told, eventually, that what I was looking for was not a feature of Zotero, nor would it ever be. Fine.

    As for the Plugin solution you pitched, it offers nothing that I need... but you already knew that.

    Rather than saying right up front that what I, and many others have requested, will never happen, is apparently beyond your narrow sphere of concern. Fine.

    Hostility & obfuscation in response to serious questions only insult your clients, marginalizes your credibility, and lessens the value of your one-dimensional product.

    You can - and should - do much better.

    Marek
  • edited 7 days ago
    Look, fella, I'm not taking any tone not previously pitched our way by you. Are you trying to convince us that labeling our work as a rube-goldberg machine isn't hostile?

    I'm not sure you can do better, but I do think you should try. We are not saying "it will never happen", we are saying "not in the standard client, but it's drop-dead easy to make it happen anyway".

    Here. Took me 15 minutes. That is what this "rube goldberg contraption" infrastructure gets us. And that you can get with no other reference manager, free, paid, closed source or open.
  • Oh and just to keep things clear: I am not part of the Zotero team, I'm one of those amateurs bodging together rube goldberg parts for usually more grateful people.
  • ... what I need is the ability to either see the unique ID for any single item, or the ability to create one
    @mmarek58: If you install the Better BibTeX add-on, you'll get a Citation Key column. The citation keys can be customized. Maybe that's what you're looking for.

    Emiliano's BBT add-on is used by a large number of users and he's providing excellent support for it.
    The Zutilo plugin in the context menue only offers to options:
    - Copy or Open Zotero URIs.
    - Doing so takes me to the Zotero web interface
    With Zutilo's "Copy select item links", you'll get links for the desktop program.

    Also note that BBT allows using links of the form zotero://select/items/@citekey.
  • Emiliano, et.al.

    Thanks for the effort, but your solution, in its current form, doesn't meet my needs.

    - Your plugin (as well as the original Zutilo plugin) requires me to hop back & forth between the desktop & the web interface to copy & paste a UID out of the web URL.
    - What I need is a column header in the desktop standard view into which I can make *direct entry* of my own UID (unique ID) without going to the side bar.

    I'll gladly pay for something that fits my needs, but Zotero is free *only* up to 300mb of data, & your plugin doesn't meet my need, even though it's free & open as well.

    As you say above, "a major part of the everyday use of Zotero centers around a browser plugin to capture references, and the Word plugin to insert references in your documents." This is the definition of "one-dimensional", which I said earlier, and is neither hostile nor an insult, it's just fact.

    Zotero is a fine product, but its dependency on non-transparent plugins is frustrating. While Rube Goldberg had interesting solutions, they were also uniquely overcomplicated. I just wanted a beer, not a package of yeast, flasks, and fermentation barrels... which is the equivalent of hopping back & forth between the desktop & web to get something close (but no cigar) to what I want.

    The volunteer work of you & other 'amateurs' (as you call them) is commendable. So, while I've been called, and accused of, many things in my 90-some years, I've never been inferred to be *ungrateful*.

    Relax, have a beer, and accept recognition when it's offered.

    Marek
  • Your plugin (as well as the original Zutilo plugin) requires me to hop back & forth between the desktop & the web interface to copy & paste a UID out of the web URL.
    You're just not understanding what people have been trying to explain to you. This has absolutely nothing to do with the web library. Nothing. The fact that you still think it does suggests that you haven't actually taken the time to read what people are suggesting to you. Zutilo can generate a zotero://select link that, if you paste it into into a hyperlink-capable editor, will let you get back to the Zotero item in the desktop app with one click. People are suggesting that because they think it's the best way to do what you're asking, based on their understanding of what you're asking.

    If all you want do is manually assign some random id to an item and copy and paste that between Zotero and your notes, just pick some random field that you're otherwise not using, add it to the middle pane as a column, and use that.

    Beyond that, you're just being incredibly obnoxious to the people who've been patiently trying to help you, so I'm going to close this thread.
This discussion has been closed.