Need help troubleshooting - PDF attachments do not transfer from My Library to Group Library

Hi, I know there have been a few other threads on this topic in the past, but I wonder if someone might be able to help me out. I use a Mac and Zotfile. I also recently upgraded my storage, so I know I have plenty of space available to store attachments. I have three Group Libraries currently, each one I am collaborating with just one other Zotero user. All three are private, and I am sure I have the sync option checked for Groups in settings. However, most recently when adding files to a Group Library, the PDF attachments did not follow the citation. Can you help me troubleshoot this issue? Is it related to Zotfile and the way it may have saved some of the original PDFs as links? I admit, I don't really understand this...and would love some guidance on how to address the issue. The utility of the Group Library is that we are able to share the actual folder with PDFs attached.

  • Is it related to Zotfile and the way it may have saved some of the original PDFs as links?
    Yes — you can't use linked files in groups.

    We're currently working on functionality to convert linked files to stored files (which sync and can exist in groups), and we could consider using that to convert linked files to stored files when transferring items to groups, either automatically or as a option.
  • Ok - thanks. That functionality will be super helpful.

    In the meantime, as a workaround, I've changed the Zotfile settings to "Attach stored files" and then am going back to files I want to move to Group Libraries and am renaming the attachment. It seems to convert the linked file back to a PDF. This seems to work most of the time, but sometimes it does not seem to work and even the PDF attachment doesn't transfer to Groups when I drag and drop the citation. Is there any chance there's another bug or workaround for this issue? Should I delete the entire Group and start again?
  • Depends on how much work you've put into the group -- what you're likely seeing is that you can't drag the same item into a group twice. If the item (without attachment) is already in the group, dragging it there a second time won't do anything. You'd need to delete the original item in the group and empty the group trash -- drag with PDF should then work.
  • I'm having the same issue and I understand the problem is related to zotfile but my usecase is a bit different.

    The only reason why I'm creating group libraries is because I want primarily to have the ability to have separate libraries according to my naming conventions and not because I want to share a library with someone, to which I understand to be the primary goal of the existence of group libraries.

    Because zotero does not allow me the possibility to have multiple libraries and rename them according to my conventions I have to resort to this work around using group libraries.

    Which brings me to the other issue of linked files since I'm using a custom storage solution, on addition to not wanting pdf files to be stored on zotero storage due maintainability and backup issues across computers.
  • I'm afraid there's no way of doing all the things you describe with Zotero. You'll need to decide which one to give up on:
    - you can have multiple libraries using groups and use Zotero storage for them (you can keep using Zotfile for your personal library but then moving between libraries becomes difficult).
    - you can give up on the idea of multiple libraries (e.g. by relying on collections more) and keep using Zotfile for organizing your storage.
    - you can use profiles to handle multiple libraries, all with Zotfile, and rely on profiles, but that won't allow you to move items between libraries with reasonable ease.

    Links for group libraries may absolutely still happen, but I wouldn't plan on it happening any time soon; it could well take years.
  • Had the same problem described above.
    This solution worked for me: export the collection (incl. files) from my private account (where I use zotfile), then upload it to my lab account (without zotfile), then moved the files to the required group folder.
    I didn't lose any pdfs, however, my subfolders are gone.
  • I have never used Zotfile but I have a similar issue.

    On the desktop I can double click each reference and it brings up a locally stored PDF. Online, a similar action takes me to an online source for the article where I might not have access. I can manually add an the locally stored file as an attachment to each article using the online tool, but this is a significant hassle.

    Am I having the same problem mentioned above? Is the proposed fix the same? Any update on when SW fix might be released?
  • edited August 5, 2020
    If it's a stored file and you're using Zotero file syncing, the file will be accessible in the online library.

    If it's a linked file or you're not syncing files via Zotero, it won't be.
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