Lost citations follwoing sync


Last night I spent hours creating a collection that had all the references for a grant application. This morning I discovered on my work computer that following the sync, only half the references are in the collection.

I checked the laptop that I created the collections on, and was not quick enough to stop it syncing. Same thing I've only got half the references in the collection. Also, the additional reference I had to go and get are not their either.

Fortunatley I did transfer the reference list onto a openoffice file. Also proves that I wans't dreaming - I have proof the references were in the library.

This is awful, to spend 3 hours creating a reference list and then have it junked by Zotero. I am now much more nervous about using Zotero, I simply cannot afford for this to happen. Why didn't the program check with me before deleting reference from the colection or the library?

Does anyone know if I can restore my files?
  • are you sure those references are not in your _library_ anymore? I can't categorically exclude the possibility, but it's very unlikely for Zotero to just go and delete references - that's just not how syncing works.
  • Hi,

    well if selecting the library reveals everything - ie there is no way of hiding or masking some refereces - then I'm absolutely sure it is not there.

    I am also absolutely sure that it was in the library last night. I remember having to search the web for the reference to a book and importing it, and the book is in the libreoffice file I saved last night.

    It is as though everything entered after a certain time last night is no longer retained in the collection or the library.

    I have no idea how this happened. I finished collecting the list, exported it and shut down the computer.
  • you don't happen to store your Zotero folder on a network drive or on dropbox or so, do you?
  • Hi, yes I do. Could that be the problem?
  • yes - that's very much discouraged.
    What exactly is your set-up?
  • Oh, I have simply placed the zotero folder in a dropbox folder.

    I guess that could create problems with syncing!

    The last previous version of zotero.sqlit saved by dropbox was 10 pm last night, but I was working till 11. I guess neither dropbox or zotero synced the changes before I shut down? But surely the dropbox files would be saved ... i don't know.
  • yeah - using dropbox for syncing is a recipe for disaster. Lots of things that can go wrong, essentially the only advice I can give you is "don't do it."
  • Thanks a lot for all your help with this, great to get to the bottom of it straight away (despite how dispiriting the answer is).

    Perhaps there could be a warning in the preferences folder where this change is made.

    I guess the reason I originally did it was because I was running out of space on the Zotero server. I have paid up now so dropbox isn't even necessary. Would be great if it was possible to stop some content from being synced.
  • I'm just going to move my zotero folder back to the hard drive - and am told I need to copy the files to a blank folder.

    I obviously have a lot of versions of files because of the conflicts between the laptop and work computer on the sqlite files. Do you know if I can just keep that latest versions of:


    Plus the folders: translate, storage, styles, and locate

    And ditch the rest?
  • Yes, though you might want to keep zotero.sqlite.73.bak (or whatever the highest-numbered one is), because that's the automatic backup from before Zotero's last database upgrade.

    Once you're running on the hard drive, you should also check your database integrity from the Advanced pane of the Zotero preferences.
  • Thanks very much - all sorted, database happy.
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