Is it possible to use group libraries to distribute files?

Is it possible to use group collections to distribute attached files? This would be simply awesome. I currently store all my articles in Zotero and if it was possible to do this, it would so much simplify the process to share material for people participating in a course that I am running. If this is not possible now, is it planned? One potential approach would be to use a command line bittorrent client to share the files and launch this from Zotero.
  • Rinze: thanks for replying, but this is not quite what I am looking for. The issue is that the webdav server used for this kind of sharing would need to be open to public and this is probably not a feasible option in most cases. I assume that "transparent" sharing of files is not possible currently, but I wonder if this is on the roadmap and if so, which way does the Zotero team plan to implement it.
  • edited May 18, 2009
    I'll second this one.
    Now that the group collections feature is implemented, perhaps it would not be too difficult to allow several Zotero instances to simultaneously access and edit the same database (including attached files) within a private (corporate/university/whatever) network?
    Perhaps not everyone will have convenient access to a webdav server?
    Have I missed out on something?

  • Yes. I also want to sync files (not just records) with groups. It says that "files cannot currently be added to group libraries" - does the 'currently' mean it is somewhere in the pipeline? Even if it had to be WebDAV, that would be fine.

    Good work on 2.0! Everything else is great!
  • Well, simultaneous access isn't probably not that hard to manage. It's already the case for syncing with multiples comptuers using the same account. You juste have to wait one sync to be done to connect with another instance. I guess this exclusive access system could work pretty well for small groups, as the odds to attempt simultaneous connections are quite reduced.

    But the thing is that you should then implement one Webdav folder per group, and you then will have to deal with multiple access.
  • Heck, even enabling the "Link to file..." option would be manageable in the short term. I'd imagine that the real challenges with group libraries and files have to do with the files themselves. Can't we get it working just for storing a URL in a field somewhere?
  • Can't we get it working just for storing a URL in a field somewhere?
    A URL field already exists & you can certainly use it to link to an online copy of a file.
  • Touche

    You are correct.

  • Using the URL field to link an online copy may be useful only in very few cases. And it would not match the real meaning for that field (usually, the original web location for the material associated with the item).

    I reiterate the original question:

    "files cannot currently be added to group libraries" - does the 'currently' mean it is somewhere in the pipeline?
  • I concur with bartoli. I'm currently working on implementing Zotero at my institution, and being able to access pdfs and other such files from the group library will be essential. Are there any prospects for accessing pdf and other files from a group library in the (hopefully near) future?
  • Hi all,

    First of all: Zotero is a fantastic product. We plan to use Zotero in our research group to maintain all our publications.
    The group feature is really what we want, but the lack of support for binary files is quite frustrating.

    So I'll repeat the question from asbake: "Are there any prospects for accessing pdf and other files from a group library in the (hopefully near) future?"
  • Am I correct in assuming that there may be some legal issues with this? I do hope that the Zotero team can implement this kind of functionality, but they would have to do so in a manner that leaves the whole responsibility for with the user and group creators.
  • edited July 10, 2009
    A good point there. One would think that a simple contract with the user (of the accept/decline variety) would do the trick: "By using Webdav file syncing with group libraries you agree not to violate copyright laws and are held solely liable in the event that you do bla bla bla... ." But the fact that developers have remained mum here on the question maybe demonstrates that it's not so simple. If Jim's hunch is correct, I hope the lawyers can work this one out.
  • bump. 1 month, 6 months, a year, completely unknown? Version 2.1, 3.0? *Is* the legal issue a holdup?

    Ben Bolker
  • I believe this is planned - I remember reading this somewhere here, no time to search - and if I'm not mistaken the timeframe is the final 2.0 release - no clear date for that yet, though.
  • If i am not wrong, we currently can share pdfs within the group functionality, using zotero synchronizing server. At least this works in generating a link to the pdf file, i have not yet tried to synchronize the files for another user of a given group. The only problem here is that storage in zotero is limited to 100mb. I am using an own webdav server, but in this case we loose the capability of synchronizing the files within a group. I am also worried on the copyright issues, which in our case have lead to create a "private group" in which everybody have rights to download those pdf's. This is however not very good for open source collaborative work, but I do not see any other way forward to share files which are subject to copyright. Thanks for an awesome tool!
  • as you may know the possibility to buy additional Zotero storage is planned - and was supposed to be implemented weeks ago, so pretty much any day now...
    I don't think there is a way around the copyright issue.
    Either a group is open and doesn't share copyrighted files, or it's closed and it does. Third possibility would of course be to share files and keep it quiet. It's not as if that's not happening in a multitude of places anyway.
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