Two requests

I don't know if this was covered before but it would be great if:

- Zotero could import stuff from Silver-Platter
- there was a document style for standards.

  • edited May 14, 2008
    A work-around for the first request if you aren't able to convert the silver-platter format into something else:

    JabRef is free/open source and cross platform. It can import the format & then export to formats that Zotero can then import.

    In case someone has some other format that would need an intermediate step,

    lists import & export formats.
  • - there was a document style for standards.
    Is there any reason "Document" isn't sufficient?
  • Is there any reason "Document" isn't sufficient?
    As it is currently implemented, it doesn't have enough fields (report might be a slightly better fit): standards often have document numbers & places they were published, for example.

    I generally agree with your belief in very strong generic types, but the "document" type in zotero really isn't rich enough to be a catch-all at this time.
  • @noksagt: agree, but just emphasizes that this needs fixing. There's no reason a generic "Document" type couldn't suffice if it was designed right.
  • edited June 3, 2008
    I must agree to that, a own style for standards (ISO, DIN) and guidelines would be great.
  • I independently found a need for a "standard" document type & started a new thread. I was then pointed here. So I'll reiterate my remarks, which include some additional information, & hope they get some attention.

    These are very important for people in engineering disciplines. They are generally similar to the "Statute" type. Generally there is a standards organization--ANSI, ISO, ASTM, IEEE, and so on--and a number. Often there are two; a national or trade organization that writes the standard and assigns its number (ASTM, IEEE, IESNA, IETF, etc.) and an umbrella national or international organization which assigns a different number gives the standard regulatory force (ISO, ANSI, DIN, JIS, CCITT, etc.)

    There is usually a collective author, that is often a designated committee: IEEE 802 Committee, or a subgroup: IEEE 802.14 working group.

    Standards in progress sometimes have different designations than finished standards; sometimes they only have names, rather than numbers.

    Sample citation formats can be found in the following stylebooks:

    See section G22

    See section 19.2

    The "document" type doesn't provide enough structured information for generation of a bibliographic entry.
  • Thanks for pointing out the guides that refer to the standerds items. Generally the best way to work out these sort of issues is for the users that need these sort of things for their field to abstract out exactly what they are missing. I should note that Collective authors work fine in Zotero, just toggle to the single author field. From your comments it is not entirely clear to me what additional fields you need to cite these.
  • edited May 1, 2009
    Generally, the most important field I'd want would be the standard code. In some cases two standard codes--author and regulatory authority--are needed, though that's mostly changed with newer standards. Notes on what has superseded what are sometimes useful. Authorities vary on citation form, but, for instance:

    Unicode 5.1.0, The Unicode Standard, 5.1.0. The Unicode Consortium, 2008.

    ISO/IEC 10646:2003, Information technology -- Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set. ISO JTC1/SC 2/WG 2, 2003. (Or ISO Information Technology Comittee 1, Subcommitee 2, Working Group 2, but these are seldom spelled out. The ISO is a huge publisher, with over 17,500 standards in print.)

    EIA RS-232-C. Interface Between Data Terminal Equipment and Data Communication Equipment Employing Serial Data Interchange. Electronic Industries Association, 1969.
    Publisher and date are often omitted (it is to some extent redundant to include them), but I find them useful, especially with older standards. Notice also that I give them last: the code and title are more important than the author and, for instance, the IEEE dispenses with them entirely in bibliographies in its own standards.
  • //off-topic

    If implemented, I think that this new item/document type would be very useful.
    Please developers, hear our prayers! ;P
  • Another bibliographic note on standards: they often have ISBN numbers, which makes the "report" type inappropriate, despite its applicability for other reasons. See, for instance CIBSE TM-14.
  • Looks like a (single) standard code could be added by mapping a Zotero field name like standardCode to CSL "number". No change would be required in CSL (although styles would need to pick up the variable and format the cite correctly).
  • Correct, Frank.
  • Hmmm. Isn't adding more cases to the styles going to create some widespread complexity as the cases proliferate through the styles?
  • @rfritz: not following what you mean.
  • Thinking it over, I think my question was based on a misunderstanding; I withdraw it--sorry.
  • Take for example the MISC style in BibTex that is used for IETF RFCs (search for rfc.bib). Currently Zotero can't show these properly in any reference style.

    1. I do import the rfc.bib into Zotero. The RFCs become Book entries. The needed part is in the field "extra". The Book entry contains also series and serie number which are filled in by the RFC number and "Request For Comments" text.

    2. I reference the RFCs in the text

    3. The RFC number does not show in the bibliography as no style includes the field "extra", or "Series", or "Series Number".

    How can I create my own style that will fix this?!
  • Furthermore, the 3GPP specs seem to use "Report Number" and "Report Type" fields in my library (I imported them from a bib file).
  • I agree almost with all the comments in relation with the need of a "standard type" entry. Everydays standards became increasingly cited in scientific documents. However, I found that using the type document and putting the document number as the author entry, and the collective author (the committee) as editorial, the reference renders nicely, at least for Harvad (author - year) citation.
  • I decided to do it myself and slightly modified Harvard style and imported properly the 3GPP and IETF specs. Please see:
  • Hello,

    i would just emphasize the need for a standard type…

    Since we have already a type for patents, i really don't see any reason why not have a type for standards…

    There are numerous organizations that publish standards, some of them are mentioned here:

    These are organizations that do mainly standards, but on the other hand, every bigger company does publish standards, like general electric, siemens, vw, etc…
    There are also people who rely on them more or less, like people in government bureaus and similar organizations but also engineers in the commercial technology fields. Just recently someone of a federal bureau for occupational safety asked me where the standards type wood be… well i could only write him that there is none, and point to some workarounds…

    Additionally, collecting the standards all under the hood of the document item type really makes things intransparent. And depending on how you do it, you may need special citation styles. That makes it incompatible when you want to share with others who have used another workaround…..

    Maybe we could take the patent type as a start for the standards type since it is quite similar…
    i try to get started with basic fields here, patent type on the left , standard type on the right.
    Feel free to comment / suggest etc…

    *title = title
    *inventor/attorney/agent/contributor = usually there is none since standards are issued by groups. But there can be one or more responsible persons - although one wouldn't list them in a bibliography.
    *Abstract = Abstract
    *Place = Place
    *Country = Country
    *Assignee =
    *Issuing Authority = Issuing Authority (full name)
    *Patent Number = Standards Number
    *Filing Date =
    *Pages = Pages
    *Application number =
    *Priority Numbers =
    *Issue Date = Issue Date
    *References = ?? References, could include superseded standards, but that's optional, i would say.
    *Legal Status =
    *Language = Language
    *Short Title = Short Title
    *URL, Accessed, Rights, Extra = "as usual"

    Additional fields could be:
    *type or genre: specification, test method, procedure, guide etc…
    *Issuing Authority abbreviation: i.e.: EN, ISO, IEEE, DIN, ASME,
    *Issuing Workgroup: for example NAFuO (that's from DIN EN ISO 11807-2)
    *ICS class: for example 01.040.31; 31.260 - see for info:
    *part: lots of standards have more than one part - but mostly that is included/appended to the number, for example: ANSI ASME B1.20.1

    Honestly, I don't have any idea how and where to map these fields… but I also don't know what fields get mapped where regarding the other item types that exist in zotero.

  • The Zotero-CSL mappings can be found here.

    I do think that instrumental documents (regulations, orders, laws, as well as standards documents) are worth placing under discrete item types, both in Zotero and in CSL. In the case of documents of this kind, which are the result of a process, a dedicated type would convey important information about the document itself, which often cannot be easily inferred from the pattern of fields present in the item.

    In other words, what mmoole said.
  • Frank-- Would you mind writing up an issue in the Github issue tracker for such a type? (
  • Has there been any movement on this issue? It has been nearly a year since the last entry and I also need to be able to reference standards. Was an issue added to the Github issue tracker? Nothing immediately leapt out at me when I looked.
  • no. You should feel free to add an issue both on the github page linked to above (for Zotero) and here
    (for CSL)

    Include info on needed fields and citation formats in a couple of relevant styles. Note that the general attitude toward adding item types is always conservative, so you may have to "defend" the item type somewhat, don't be discouraged by that. Also, with fbennett you have a powerful ally in your corner ;-)
  • To the best of my knowledge I don't have an account for either of the Github pages. Do I just create one?

    Why does this issue need to be raised on two separate Github pages?

    I have returned to Zotero after an absence of a few years since I found it so useful in the past. However, I am now using LaTeX rather than Word and will therefore be looking to export the library to BibteX, rather than use Zotero citation formats.
  • edited June 20, 2012
    two pages because the CSL project is separate from Zotero. Even if you're not going to use the citation format, citation output is still going to be the key criterium for getting this into Zotero. If it's not needed to create correct citations, there is only a minimal chance that it will be included.

    edit: the issue trackers are open - one general github account will do, I believe.
  • And do I just create a Github account and dive in?
  • yes - see edit above.
  • oh, and reference this thread on the issues to have a record of existing conversations about this.
  • edited September 23, 2012
    Hi all,

    i created this as an entry on
    also with a lin k to this topic here.
    What I didnt find out was how to tag it for 'item-type' and 'CSL-change'...


    well, here is the link:
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