Related items: types of relations?

Looking through Zotero API documentation I found that API supports different types of relations between related items (e.g., owl:sameAs, dc:replaces,...). Yet, I've never seen any possibility in the user interface of Zotero Desktop to indicate the type of relations - you just relate the items and that's all (and user documentation also does not mention how to set different relation types). Is is just that APIs have reserved this possibility for future releases, or have I missed something?
  • Different types of relations have been planned in general for some time, but no ETA on when they might be implemented or exactly what form they will take. Currently, Zotero has two types of relations: "related" (what you can creat with the Related Items function) and "sameAs", which is created when you merge two items.
  • edited August 13, 2019
    It would be great (and easy to implement) to get second neighbor relationships.
    Item A is related to 1, 2, and 3.
    If you click 1 you only see it is related to A, but it would be handy to see is also related to 2 and 3 through A.
  • This sounds like duplication of functions. Why don't you use collections or tags for that? Both tags and collections are designed exactly for grouping of items. Item relations are meant to be pair-wise.
  • edited August 13, 2019
    There are non-linear relationships between items. And a single label (a tag, or a collection) sometimes is not enough to capture these.
    It can be solved by adding a lot of tags, sure, but it is much more work for the user to categorize items in such detail.
    Also, the problem of tags/collections is that do not scale well, when you have too many, it becomes harder to navigate. I prefer broad collections, more specific tags, and then, fine detail connections using Related, but why limiting it to first neighbors?

    My suggestion on adding the second neighbor pair-wise relationship would be able to capture complex relationships almost for free for the user.

    The user only worries about pair-wise relationships as it is now. But then, clicking in the Related tab, the first neighbors are shown (as it is now) and below (there is plenty of free space) the second neighbors are shown.
  • edited March 29, 2021
    It would be nice that Related items could be marked with a relation type in order to distinguish, for example, items related because they connect different versions of a work of items related because one cites the other.

    The last example also shows that it would be useful allow a non-symmetry of the items, so even "when you relate item A to B, B will be automatically related to A", the relation would not be necessarily the same so it could be that "A cites B" and "B is cited by A" or "A is the original publication of a paper" while "B is the publication of the paper in the Selected papers of an author", etc.
  • edited April 25, 2021
    I've just seen that it was suggested some time ago by @emilianoeheyns in and later in the same discussion by @lupuli (
    I really believe it would be an important feature).

    Another place where @emilianoeheyns had already suggested this is, after @LiborA (

    Let's keep here possible relations and places where it is asked for this feature.
    * cites/cited by
    * 1st ed/nth ed
    * original version of a paper/publication in another context (as above, selected papers of an author, or jorunal article after a report, or translation, ...)
    * book/chapter
    * presentation/journal article or software or whatever being the matter of the presentation
    * paper/erratum-correction paper
    * preprint/posterior journal publication
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