Distinguishing items with same author&same year

Hi all,

I have a problem. My bibliographies and in-text citations do not differentiates between two different items by the same author published in the same year.
I checked around in the forum, but I could not find any help for such a simple function, at least IMHO.
Any suggestion?


  • most Zotero styles do this right by default (usually by adding a, b, c... after the year)
    Which one are you using?
    Are you using the word plugin?
  • Hi adamismith.
    I am indeed making some attempts with the word plugin.
    I tried all the author-date citation styles available in my installation of zotero (v.2.02 vanilla installation.
    I realized that something was wrong since this should be a simple and "classic" feature...
    The problem is in the citation keys or citation marks. After some test I discovered that zotero works fine in some cases (it adds -a, -b and -c in the Chicago author-date style). However, it does not work in some instances. Apparently, this happens randomly. Some citations come with the disambiguation letter, some just don't and the citation key (e.g. name and year) are just repeated identically...
  • It's certainly not random. We'd need to know exactly what is in the items that are not disambiguating for you.
  • ok, what should I do then? Should I post you the references of the items? In which format? So far, I think I found 3 couples of items which do not work properly...

    thank you
  • The bibliography entries for the offending items should provide enough info. Here are some steps:

    (1) Open Zotero
    (2) Go to the collection that contains both members of an offending pair
    (3) Use ctl-left-click to select both items
    (4) Right-click while hovering over the selection, and then left-click on "Create Bibliography from Selected Items"
    (5) In the popup that appears, tick "Copy to Clipboard", and highlight the bibliography style used in your document
    (6) Click "OK"
    (7) In the forum text box for this thread, do right-click, and choose "Paste" from the menu.

    This should yield text that looks something like this:

    Lempert, Richard. “A Jury for Japan?.” The American Journal of Comparative Law 40, no. 1 (Winter 1992): 37-71.
    Lempert, Richard O. “Uncovering "Nondiscernible" Differences: Empirical Research and the Jury-Size Cases.” Michigan Law Review 73, no. 4 (March 1975): 643-708.
  • edited April 3, 2010
    Thank you!! It seems we are working in similar sectors :)
    Here are the 3 couples giving problems (Chicago Author-date)...they are all from 2002 (but this does not pose problems with other 2002 double items)

    Den Boer, Monica. 2002. Law-Enforcement Cooperation and Transational Organized Crime in Europe. In Transnational Organized Crime and International Security: Business as Usual?, ed. Mats Berdal and Mónica Serrano, 103-116. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
    Den Boer, Monica, ed. 2002. Organised crime: A catalyst in the Europeanisation of National Police and Prosecution Agencies? Maastricht: European Institute of Public Administration.
    Fornasari, Gabriele. 2002. Le strategie di contrasto alla criminalità organizzata: aspetti comparatistici nell'esperienza europeo-continentale. In Strategie di contrasto alla criminalità organizzata nella prospettiva di diritto comparato, ed. Gabriele Fornasari, 173-198. Padova: Cedam.
    Fornasari, Gabriele, ed. 2002. Le strategie di contrasto alla criminalità organizzata nella prospettiva di diritto comparato. Padova: Cedam.
    Manacorda, Stefano, ed. 2002. L'infraction d'organisation criminelle en Europe: (Allemagne - Espagne - France - Italie - Union Européenne). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
    Manacorda, Stefano. 2002. La risposte pénale contre la criminalité organisée dans le droit de l'Union Européenne. In L'infraction d'organisation criminelle en Europe: (Allemagne - Espagne - France - Italie - Union Européenne), ed. Stefano Manacorda. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
  • the problem should be obvious - those are all cases in which an author appears as an editor in one case and an author in the other one.
    That just might be something Zotero currently doesn't deal with correctly.
    Frank, will it be able to in the future?
  • edited April 3, 2010
    Bingo. As adamsmith says, Zotero seems to be applying the year suffix for you only when the creator roles (editor, author) are the same. I hadn't tested the new CSL processor on this case, but I have now, and I'm happy to report that it applies the suffix correctly.

    So a solution will have to wait for deployment of the new processor, but that's in the pipeline.
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