Notes and tags are often personal. Give us the option to exclude them from groups.

Various threads on the forums have hinted on this (1, 2, etc.), but I want to draw together the issue in one place. Here goes: In personal libraries, notes as well as tags are often partly a personal matter. My request is to give us the option to exclude this kind of personal content when copying over content to group libraries; and at a later stage, to give us finer-grained control over permissions.

Right now both tags and notes are copied by default, it seems. For some applications this is handy; see e.g. this happy user. For others, less so. For instance I collaborate on a publication with some colleagues and we use the group to share the citations. Many of the items come from my library and some of the tags are specific to my workflow (e.g. "important", "classic", "need to read"). Similarly, my personal reading notes may or may not be relevant or shareable.

(1) first pass: give us the option to disable copying of notes and tags to group libraries — either as a global option or as a checkbox for each copy operation.
(2) second pass: implement finer-grained control of permissions for note and tag content, allowing users to select, say, personal tags that should not be synced and to set rules for syncing/making public tag and note content. I would recommend to also make it possible to connect authors to notes, an age-old (and still sensible) suggestion of mine.

I deliberately suggest a 2-pass workflow because the first pass seems to be something that would be easy to implement in a rough version. Finetuning and coding more advanced features could then happen while users are already happy with the control the first pass gives them. I deliberately suggest this as an option because I realize full well that the sharing of notes and custom taxonomies can be very interesting. To give us this option lets us decide what we want to share and with whom we want to share it. Please consider this issue.
  • (1) first pass: give us the option to disable copying of notes and tags to group libraries — either as a global option or as a checkbox for each copy operation.
    Like the options to exclude child notes and attachments in the General pane of the Zotero preferences?
  • And yes, Zotero probably should have the notion of workflow tags that wouldn't be copied to groups or used in global searches.

    As for finer-grained permissions, given that items in group libraries are separate from items in personal libraries, the relevant question is whether the data is copied over to the group, not whether it's synced to the server when it's there. (The latter would add an exceptional level of complexity.) But you'd want, say, the ability to set a copy policy on an item so that it overrides the existing copy setting?
  • edited July 11, 2011
    Ah good, so it does exist for notes. Indeed, like that — but adding tags to the list. (I was a bit dismayed to discover all my tags in the group library.)

    On the finer-grained permissions, like you I'd want to avoid complexity, and syncing is a separate matter indeed. The copy-policy for individual items (tags specifically probably) would be one way of coping with the workflow tags issue. (BTW I now remember this thread from 2009, where workflow tags were also mentioned. That thread suggests another possibility: "hiding" tags from public view, whether or not they exist under the hood. Don't know what would be better.)
  • edited August 31, 2011
    So would it be possible, before 3.0 is released, to get "tags" added as one of the excludable data types when copying items between libraries? (The first pass of my proposal above.) I was hoping this would be relatively trivial to do.
  • edited September 14, 2011
    (Gentle bump, prompted by this.)
  • I'd like to reiterate the importance of giving users the option to not copy tags across when coying items across libraries. As I've argued, and as I think you know holds for many users, tags can be at least partly personal matter.

    Right now I'm holding back from doing too much with groups because I don't like to clutter other people's libraries with how I happen to organize my items, and I don't like the clutter coming in from other people either. Making this optional (opt-out if you think it is important to have on by default) would be a great help and not so difficult to implement I'm guessing.
  • edited April 11, 2012
    Bump. Please pretty please add Tags to the list of things (now including Notes and Files) that can be excluded from being copied over into groups or out of groups.
  • I agree with the importance of mark's thoughtful request (and was somewhat dismayed when I realized that the happy user whom I was chuckling on my way to read, was.... me).
  • Another bump, prompted by this.
  • Another bump, prompted by this.
  • And to reiterate, all that's needed is an addition to the options that already exist.

    I can imagine some reticence in making this a default, because obviously for data mining and social purposes, tags are great and you'd want to have them in group libraries, harvestable and usable in ways that (for music) and Mendeley (for references).

    My argument is simply that for those of us who use tags for workflow purposes etc, there has got to be an option to easily prevent tags from being copied if we drag items from our personal libraries to groups or vice versa.
  • edited November 2, 2012
    Done for 3.0.9. Available now in the 3.0 Branch dev XPI.
  • Wheee! Thanks!
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