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A workflow for mapping and relating arguments and concepts in Zotero references  XML
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David Epstein


Joined: 10/09/2009 18:04:43
Messages: 11
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Hello everyone,


I am using Zotero and the VUE plugin with Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty on a laptop. I have just started using Zotero's "add note" feature to take notes while reading PDF's of journal articles. Eventually, I would like to use VUE to map the connections between these notes within and between documents. All of this work concerns my dissertation in urban and regional planning, but is not for a particular presentation. I would like to use Zotero and VUE together as a computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) system to iteratively build, manage, and make sense of a growing collection of sources, including interview transcripts and images.

I am running into a few problems. First, I am having difficulty adding my Zotero notes to a map. The "add notes to map" option is not working for me. Sometimes nothing happens. Sometimes I get only one of several notes for a resource. Second, VUE seems to store maps within a collection, but not tied to a particular reference. I would like to be able to work with the notes for just one journal article, but still have access to notes from other ones whenever I want. Should I use just one (huge!) VUE map and put each article or book on a different layer?

I would love to hear if anyone is trying something similar.


take care,
-david
Mike Korcynski

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Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 749
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David,

One point of clarification, VUE only supports one note per item so we just took the first note. I'm not a big notes user in zotero, if its common to have multiple notes per item we could concat them into 1 VUE notes field with some sort of header. Also note that the handoff of note data from zotero to vue is destructive because we rip the HTML notes from Zotero into plain text when we put them on nodes in VUE.

As for the case where nothing happens, I *think* I have a fix for that, but if you can come up with a reproducible case that'd be great.

Hopefully others can provide feedback on the rest of your post.

Thanks,
Mike


David Epstein


Joined: 10/09/2009 18:04:43
Messages: 11
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Mike,

Thank you for that clarification. Unfortunately, that scuttles my intended workflow. I will have five to twenty notes for a journal article, more for a book. Combining them together defeats the purpose of making them distinct notes. In Zotero, I can add tags and a list of related objects to EACH note. And, they show up in searches, which is useful. But, I cannot be explicit about the nature of those relations (challenges, supports, similar to, etc). I was hoping to import the notes into VUE and then add named relations to sketch the arguments being made and also link them to ideas from other documents.

I wonder if it may be possible and useful to make notes an item in the dataset window? For example, currently with a Zotero collection, I see "id", "title", and "date" fields. Could I see "notes" also? By dragging the "notes" item onto a reference's node in the map, VUE would add ALL the note nodes and the edges related to that reference (journal article, book, etc).

-david

David Epstein


Joined: 10/09/2009 18:04:43
Messages: 11
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Hi,

I just wanted to post a quick update. The problem for me is that multiple notes cannot currently be imported from a single Zotero reference onto a VUE map. But, if I elect to keep my notes in a CSV spreadsheet with an ID column that matches the Zotero ID--it links up fine in VUE using the Dataset window and associations. I can add edges between the notes showing relationships (supports, challenges, agrees, etc) and save the graph in VUE. Unfortunately, those added relations are not (of course) reflected in Zotero or the CSV spreadsheet. So, I would be working in 3 loosely linked applications...

-david

J N-R


Joined: 02/10/2010 16:04:40
Messages: 1
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Hi,

I'm just beginning to use the plugin for Zotero (I've used Zotero for a long time). VUE is being extremely helpful for me, to help me deal with huge amounts of bibliography. But there is a big handicap in the use of notes. I've attached many notes to each Zotero item, but I think there is no way to import them to VUE and establish relationships between them. That would be extremely helpful.

Besides, whenever I import notes to Zotero, all that I can see is their id number, but not the text itself. And I don't find anything in the help section about that.

Thanks a lot for the program. You are really doing a great job.

Best,

Jesús
Mike Korcynski

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Joined: 08/08/2008 11:36:13
Messages: 749
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JNR,

Zotero notes didn't align with what we do in VUE exactly, you can sync the first note from an item in Zotero to a Zotero item node on the map by right clicking the collection the item came from in Zotero and selecting "Add Notes to map". We should come up with a better way to do that that more completely represents zotero's notes.

-Mike
 
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