Multiple group members annotating pdf at same time - does it work?

Hi there,

This is a hypothetical question as I'm in the process of encouraging my institution to adopt Zotero and they have asked about this. Apologies if this is answered elsewhere, I did some thorough searching on this.

Lets say several members of a group within an institutional account are annotating a pdf at the same time, and then they each save their changes when done. Am I correct in assuming only the annotations contained in the file saved last will be there next time when they all open it? I'm guessing as each person saves the pdf (and therefore changes the pdf timestamp/file-size), each version gets uploaded to the server, but overwrites the previously saved version, correct?

Essentially this would mean people cannot annotate a pdf at the same time and have all annotations saved, right?
  • That is a limitation of the current model, yes. If the file was modified elsewhere at the same time, you'd get a conflict notification when you synced and would have to choose one or the other.

    The flip side to this is that in Zotero you can annotate using your preferred PDF reader, and (generally speaking) your annotations are stored in a standard, portable format, rather than being locked up in a proprietary database.

    It's possible a future version of Zotero will offer a way to annotate PDFs within the program at least as an option, which would allow for simultaneous annotation in group libraries. (We'd want to make sure it was still easy to get annotated versions out of the program in batch.)
  • Many thanks for your help Dan.
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