unlinked all references

Instead of syncing, i read somewhere that i could copy the zotero library files, put them on a usb stick and take that to a different computer. There i deleted the earlier version of the library and pasted the one i had on the usb. This, i suspect, i effectively unlinked all of my references. I noticed when i went into the library and tidied many URL's, but when i refreshed it didnt change the bibliography. However it does change when i reinsert the citation using the library. So, i need to do this throughout the doc, correct?
  • How did you get the library on two different computers in the first place?

    If you created two libraries separately on two separate computers (including via export/import), those items are totally unrelated, and citations from one library wouldn't be connected to citations from the other library. Transferring the library by copying the data directory makes an exact copy, so those transferred items would be unrelated to the document for the same reason. You'd have to reinsert each one to use current data from the library.
  • edited September 13, 2023
    I think you can extract the citations using this tool from your document and then merge the duplicates.
  • Yeah, that could work.
  • Thank you, i appreciate your help. I would have put the same library on the second computer a while ago. I wont do it again in a hurry.
  • The ref extractor works, but changes made to the library after that, followed by refreshing still dont reflect in the bibliography. I suspect they remain unlinked. Just double checking. I used the process outlined in Option B in the link mention above, https://www.zotero.org/support/kb/transferring_a_library, but that unlinks the citations from the library? You mention, "so those transferred items would be unrelated to the document for the same reason". I guess i still dont get it. If i went back to a previouly saved document and library, would that link things back together?
  • edited September 14, 2023
    Sorry, I wasn't thinking when I responded to @damnation above. Ref Extractor won't help here — that creates totally new items with no connection to the citations in the document. So there's really no option here other than replacing each citation manually from the new library. If there are items in the document that aren't in the library you transferred, Ref Extractor would get those back into the new library, but you'd still have to reinsert them.

    And just to clear up possible misunderstanding here, transferring the data directory as described in that link copies your library exactly as it is, and any links to citations in documents created against the library on one computer would stay connected on the other computer. The point is that, however you created two separate libraries originally, which I'm guessing was with export/import, created two unrelated libraries. So if you now transfer your data directory from Computer A to Computer B, a document created against B wouldn't be connected. If you had transferred the data directory in the first place, a document created against B would still work if you transferred the data directory again, because it would be the same exact library as far as Zotero was concerned (not counting any further changes you had made on Computer A).
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