how to update items that exist in multiple libraries

edited August 4, 2022
So we know there's this invisible 'link' that exists between an item A in My Library L1 and its copy (A') in a group library L2. We know this link exists because when I re-drag A from L1 to L2 it silently fails (because it's already there).

I'm sure there are requests to keep such items in sync automatically etc and I'm also sure there are reasons this is more complicated than we think.

But this means currently it is impossible to edit A in L1 (e.g. add metadata, add attachment) and also update its clone A' in L2 (except by redoing all edits manually in L2) . The only way to do this is to delete A' from L2, empty trash, redrag A from L1 and L2. Is that correct?

I want to check whether this is correct before I do a feature request. The need for some way of updating comes up fairly often by the way in any case where multiple group libraries are in use, either for collaboration or for displaying publication lists.

(The feature request would be to not fail silently, and could take two further forms: either update A' in L2 when I drag A from L1 and L2 *and* A≠A' in metadata or attachments; or just always copy items whether they exist or not and let users manage the task of resolving duplicates. The latter may be a useful first quick fix with no obvious adverse consequences.)
  • You're correct in your description of the status quo and some version of what you're requesting/proposing is, as I understand, what dstillman has said are the plans for Zotero to improve this. As always, no ETA
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