Manually selecting items to export

We have received several inquiries about whether it is possible to use the “Select All” button and the checkboxes in the admin-side Browse Items / Search view to export the checked items with Output Formats. Is this currently implemented or in the works? If not, do you know of any plugin hooks or functions that would enable this?

That’s an interesting use case, which raises lots of questions to me about what the end result of the export is meant to be.

Before my questions, though, the basic answer is not really, at least not directly. The checkboxes really point to bulk editing, not exporting. I can’t think of a way to hook into the checkbox inputs that would let a plugin work with that.

So, on to the questions, which I hope will get closer to a solution. What, exactly, would you like to do with the exported data, and how? Generally, I think that the data from the API offers more possibilities than the output formats, but if there’s a specific output format that works better for your needs, that would point in a different direction.

If the data from the API would work for your needs, a quick workaround to get the data would be to do the bulk editing via the checkboxes to add a tag to the items, then query items with that tag in the API (something like /api/items?tags=toexport), and process the data from there.

It all really kinda depends on what you need to happen after the data comes out, and what format(s) for the data can most easily achieve that.

Hi Patrick!

Thanks for you reply. The way Omeka is used at our institution is we create instances for instructors and/or researchers for classes and projects. The data they create in Omeka is often their own and they are always interested in being able to extract it from a system for all sorts of reasons (editing, preservation etc.) in a format they are comfortable with. As such, they tend to prefer a spreadsheet to interacting with an API. We’ve found that the .csv export is very popular with our user base as it is familiar to them and covers their needs in a simple way.

In this case, the user created a large amount of annotations on a manuscript and wants to extract just the annotations in a .csv file for editing/preservation and possibly to supplement other material. We have the .csv export of course but realize the easiest way to accommodate this use case for them would be to select all the items they wish to export and select the format.

There are ways to work around this that aren’t as elegant but still get the job done. Just wanted to check in that we weren’t missing something or if others had the same use case :slight_smile:

Ah! Yes, that makes sense – everyone loves some CSV!

The closest workaround I can think of (which might very well already be among the options you have in mind), is that the CSV Export plugin also works on Collections. So, if Collections aren’t already being used to organize content, creating one just for the export would work. Of course, if collections are already being used to organize content, then undoing and redoing that structure might be a pain, even with the bulk editing of items to switch collections. That’s a little more multi-step than I might like, but it’s something I’d look at.