Citation selection criteria

I used to be able to insert citations into a text using any field of an entry, including, say, the posting date of a forum post or a particular string of characters in its URL. I now find that citations can only be selected by author and title, which to me is a big loss in usability: If I have, for instance, half a dozen posts in my Zotero database that were made by the same author in the same discussion forum thread, I have six items whose author and title fields are identical, and I can no longer pick any particular one from among them using a unique differentiator such as posting date or URL. Is there any way I could get the old behaviour back?
  • You can switch back to the classic insert citation dialog in the preferences.
  • Thanks, I did that at the first sight of the new insert citation dialog, which has been a while, and I don't even recall for what reason I switched back to the old one. Inserting citations has worked the old way ever since, though, it's only now that this new behaviour has started. I used to be able to select an item by its posting date, now the posting date will deselect an item from my choices because it isn't part of either the author or the title field.
  • I don't think you can get that back currently - the search with all fields was so slow that it was useless for a lot of people.
    I assume by posting date you mean "date added", correct?
  • edited April 7, 2012
    No. I work with a lot of data collected from the web, and "posting date" corresponds to Zotero's "date" field.

    I've just dealt with a case where I had six contributions by the same author to the same usenet thread, resulting in six different options for the same author plus title combination. I had to select all six, one after the other, and then delete five references. Previously I'd just add an URL string and get the right one straight away.

    In this new configuration, Zotero effectively presumes that the author and title combination unequivocally identifies a single database item, and tough luck if that's not the case. However, I can easily think of a number of disciplines where that presumption would often be false, proving disruptive to a lot of people's workflow.

    Are you sure that the complaints of slowness were in fact due to search with all fields? A long time ago I noticed that Zotero had got insufferably slow when selecting citations, but that was because, by default, it searched through attachments as well. When I turned that setting off, everything was fine again.
  • edited April 7, 2012
    What are you referring to, exactly? The search box in the top-right of the classic Add Citation dialog? You realize you can change the mode by clicking the little arrow on the left, just as in the Zotero toolbar? But it searches by year just fine for me in all modes.

    If you're still having trouble, please provide exact steps to reproduce.
  • I was referring to the search box in the top-right of the classic Add Citation dialog but was unaware of the mode selector menu. I've now switched Title, Creator, Year mode to All Fields & Tags mode and everything works again like it used to. Thanks!
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