PDFs missing from library

[Split from PDFs missing from my library]

Dear Zotero team,

a similar problem seems to have occurred in my library. Would it be possible to relink the PDF files?

Thank you for your help
  • edited February 29, 2024
    (Please start new threads for new issues. I've moved this to a new thread.)

    Unless you used the "Purge Storage in My Library" option on your storage settings page, which you don't appear to have done, this wouldn't be related. In general, see Files Not Syncing.
  • Thank you for moving this to a new thread!

    Yes, then it seems like my issue is caused by something else.

    This account is used by another person and I was asked to go through and delete/merge all the duplicates. I logged into this account (connecting it to a WebDAV) on my laptop, exported the library, logged out and logged into my own account where I imported the library and started working on deleting the duplicates. The imported library had no PDFs as only the citations were exported.

    When I finished cleaning up the library I switched the accounts on my laptop again to import the new, "cleaned" library to this account. However, now apparently all of the original PDFs from this library are gone.

    What could have been the problem and is there a way to retrieve the PDFs?

    Thank you for your help.
  • edited March 3, 2024
    Exporting and importing creates a totally new set of items with no connection to the original library — that's not something you wanted to do here. Whether the export would still have files attached depends on the export format and settings you chose, but there certainly wouldn't be any relation to the original library's WebDAV files at that point. I'm afraid there's no way to recover from this — you'd have to download and attach the files again, or try using Find Available PDFs in Zotero from a network with institutional access to PDFs.
  • @julfischer: Well, a couple other suggestions, though they'd be a bit tedious.

    If you didn't delete the original items in the library (or they're still in the trash and you can restore them) and you have the new, cleaned items in a separate collection, you could go to Duplicate Items and merge each item, choosing the cleaned copy. There's currently no way to bulk-merge items, though.

    Merging items would also preserve the link to citations in any word processor documents that have been created via the word processor plugins.

    If you don't need to preserve links to word processor documents, another option would be to go to the library root, sort by Title, click an item and press + to expand all items, and then go through the list and, for each item that appears twice, drag each attachment from one item to the other. The items in the cleaned collection would then all have the attachments, and you could go ahead and delete the old items.
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