Read/unread

Hi,
A field that would be really useful for me would be a read/unread field or checkbox (like in iTunes with played/not played). That way, I could make a saved search of just those items that I need to read. I know I could do this with tags, but I thought I'd make the suggestion anyway. If it were a field we could sort by that in the main frame. Many times I'm out there collecting references, and not reading any of them!
Thanks!
Callista
  • I second the motion. This would be particularly useful for after an article is read. You could simply check the read box instead of deleting the unread tag and then adding the read tag. Also, if all new references defaulted to unread that eliminates the step of adding the initial unread tag. So having this feature could make a 3-step process a 1-step process. This field could also be added to the center pane to allow sorting by read/unread status. Though not many people have mentioned it, I think keeping track of read/unread status is a very common behavior and many people would make use of this feature.
  • Of course you can simplify the tag process by only using a 'read' tag (or since that's ambiguous, I use an 'already_read' tag.) Things are then unread by default, which makes sense. If you want to see what doesn't have the tag, create a saved search for top-level things without the tag.

    Or alternately, make 'to_read' your tag. That way if you want you can mark different levels of desire to read a given thing, with tags that signal:
    - to read if I have time
    - to read
    - absolutely essential. Stop everything and read.

    I wouldn't want to counter a recommendation, but tags do let you do the same thing with a tiny bit more work, and more flexibility
  • I agree with ransomca & jdborchert about the need for a read/unread option. But I also agree with scot about using tags. I am not sure there is a need to add an entire new feature (ie, bloat) when tagging will do fine.

    I think the best solution would be an option to have all new entries tagged "unread" by default.

    This minimizes feature-bloat while retaining the benefit for an unread/read marker.
  • What if tags could be assigned different colors so that the entries in the center pane would be highlighted the color of the tag you deem most important (the same could be done with a read/unread feature, highlighting the unread entries). Really, what I am looking for in a read/unread feature is a way to see at a glance which articles I have read and which ones I haven't. And don't ask me why but sometimes I would like to see a whole collection of articles together while at the same time differentiating which ones I have read, which I can't do with tags. I guess it's kind of a way to track my progress. I know it's kind of picky but I think if it's a feature that a lot of people would use it might be worth considering.
  • Another line of thought could be to compare Zotero and, say, Gmail or your favorite email client. Since email is often the major forum of information exchange and collaboration, it has evolved into providing features useful for this purpose. Personally, colored tags and mail read/unread features are two such features I find really useful.

    Tags are perhaps the most generic markers and, therefore, also the most powerful markers, but read-unread should be thought of as a more convenient tagging interface rather than a separate feature. I don't think making tagging more convenient will do any harm, especially for such commonly used tags.
  • Just adding a +1 for the read/unread feature req

    I'm sure I'm hardly alone in finding and storing materials much (much!) faster than I get to reading them. I've been using a tag -- just "[read]" -- but I like the idea of further categories. The problem is that you can't readily see in the main interface if you've read something or not (right?). And while coloured tags would be useful indeed, what happens if you've set colours for multiple tags that are assigned to the same record? Which colour would win?

    I think it's a valid concern to avoid bloat, but this is something I've been wishing for for quite some time, and I can't see it being particularly onerous. Really just a boolean flag in metadata?

    Thanks for the brilliant work guys!
  • Is there a way to negate a tag selection. I want to find all the records that do not have a tag.

    For example; I've been adding the tag "annotated" once I have read an article and noted it in my annotated bibliography. Now I wish to select all the records with the tag bison that do not have the tag annotated. This would be the same as a read/unread checkbox but I think more generally useful.
  • advanced search (magnifying glass)
    Tag --> is not = annotate
    (might only be possible in 2.0, not sure)
  • twk
    edited December 9, 2009
    I think a simple solution could be to have some user definable shortcuts.
    So for example a defined shortcut could set a certain tag and if I press it again, it could be unset.
    This would make it possible to store and tag a lot of data that belongs to a certain topic without typing every tag for each item.
    Maybe the shortcuts could be Ctrl-Alt-[num] and a posibility to define the related tag.
    Probably it would also be easy to realize the read/unread -problem this way.

    Another possibility could be to install another switch - when adding a new item, I could hold Alt pressed or something - that opens a window where I can easily search and select the tags for the item. This could make it easier to keep the database in a good shape and well tagged.

    Would you think something like this is feasible?
  • So for example a defined shortcut could set a certain tag and if I press it again, it could be unset.
    This will likely happen as part of color-coded tags (which could be assigned as in Thunderbird).
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