Design question: a citation field with page numbers

I have a “citation” field for my “article” record, an article may refer to several citations, e.g. Book A, p.57 and Book B, p.327.

Obviously I also have a “Books” table with book name and published year, author etc.

But I don’t know how to associate “page number” easily with the selected book. Must I create another table linking Article, Book and page number? This would be the obvious way in traditional database design and you would create a UI to simplify the book/page number selection. However in Airtable it would be a multi-step process for the user: select Citation field, create Add+, select the book, add page number, then close the book-page record, then close again. Could this process be simplified so the user only has to select the book and add page number in one action?


Try removing the Citation field from Article and instead make it a table:


Your user needs to specify the books in a separate table and then specify the articles. Once those are done you add your citations for each article. It should be a decent user experience especially considering the copy-and-paste features of the grid.

You could also create another view to group by articles:

Thanks – that’s actually what I have done (create the citation table linking the other two tables) but the user has difficulties adding an association. I guess this is the only way unless I design an external UI to help simplify the data input.
Thanks for the answer!


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