We are new to CiviCRM and have consulted both this forum and the book + videos. Still at a loss for a solution.

We have multiple publications with different people titles associated with it. (e.g. Publication A + Editor, Author, Reviewer, etc.). The titles can also be connected in another way (e.g. Editor + Publication A, Publication B, Publication C).

We attempted to set up smart groups with the Title + Publication (A,B,C) but then when we wanted to create a second smart group with Title2 + Publication (C,B,A) and have it connect to a mailing list, it said "error- that group already exists."

Q - How do we achieve the need of having to connect these titles and publications using groups or memberships?

Q - Can memberships be a smart group?

Q - Do we make Publications as a group, and Titles as a membership? Or use fields for one or the other?

Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Danielle. There are many ways to approach this and it would probably help if you could explain in more detail how you are doing this. Is a Magazine an Organisation sub-type? Is an Editor an Individual with a job title? If I looked at a contact how would i know who was who? Are you using Relationships (which might be how I would do this) to connect John as the Editor to the Jungle Journal? If you are using Relationships, do you have a specific Relationship Type for 'editor' or a single Relationship type of 'employee' with 'Editor' in the Description field?
    – petednz - fuzion
    Sep 3, 2016 at 9:24
  • For each individual they may have many "titles". For example, they may have an actual "Employer" but may be a volunteer "Editor" of a publication. I agree with your comment below as a resolution. Sep 13, 2016 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


One approach to this would be to use Relationships. Make a Relationship Type of "Editor of / Editor is" that will connect Individuals with Organisation sub-type "Magazine".

Use that relationship to connect John as the Editor of the Jungle Journal. And similarly to connect Bob as Editor of the Birds Books.

Then you can make a Smart Group of all Individuals that are 'Editor of'.

Then repeat for the other Relationship Types, ie make one for 'Author of' and another one for 'Reviewer of'

  • Love this approach. It looks like using relationships are the better way to go. Sep 13, 2016 at 19:53

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