Style error for APA - non primary author initials incorrectly included

The author disambiguation feature appears to be over-implemented for APA 6th edition. When two or more non-primary (i.e., not the first author) authors with the same surname (last name) appear in in-text citations, Zotero includes their first initials, apparently in an effort to disambiguate them.

[Zotero output]:
Some authors (Easterling, Hurd, & J. Smith, 2004) are not the same as other authors
(Leiserowitz & N. Smith, 2010).

[Correct style]:
Some authors (Easterling, Hurd, & Smith, 2004) are not the same as other authors
(Leiserowitz & Smith, 2010).

According to my reading of the APA style manual, however, the Zotero implementation is incorrect (Publication Manual of the APA, 6th Edition, p. 176). First authors should be so disambiguated, but not subsequent authors (which I think is rather inconsistent on the part of APA, and does lead to ambiguity about the identity of subsequent authors).

Am I incorrect in my reading of APA style, or does this need to be corrected?
  • edited May 5, 2011
    Your reading is correct. The CSL 1.0 verison of APA 6th supports this form of disambiguation. Visit this link, save the file to your desktop, and drag the file into Firefox to install. If this version of the style does not behave correctly, post again and I'll take a look.
  • Hey I've just tried that but it still not right. Instead of (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2008) I get (D. G. Oblinger & Oblinger, 2008). I'm running Zotero 2.1.8 with Firefox 3.6.18. I'm writing a PhD thesis and have *lots* of references :P
  • edited June 27, 2011
    Very pleased to meet you. For my part, I'm a full-time working academic with limited time to deal with student queries. :P

    Humor aside, I see the issue, and can confirm. It would be helpful to have this pinned down with specific guidance from the staff at APA. This is at least arguably within the scope of their rule as I understand it, as the expansion happens only on the primary name. It could be made more restrictive, but I'd like to confirm that that's definitely necessary before going forward with the work.

    Sorry for the extra request, but if the point can be firmly established that names other than those in primary position should be ignored, I'll take a closer look.
  • edited June 27, 2011
    (D.G. Oblinger & Oblinger, 2008) is correct APA - I've gotten that specific case confirmed in an e-mail from APA.

    Here's the exact text of the email:
    For example, it is not unusual to see a reference list that includes the following works:

    Muthén, B. O., & Muthén, L. K. (2000). Integrating person-centered and variable-centered analysis: growth mixture modeling with latent trajectory classes. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 24, 882-891.

    Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2002). How to use a Monte Carlo study to decide on sample size and determine power. Structural Equation Modeling, 4, 599-620.

    In text, these would be cited as (B. O. Muthen & Muthen, 2000) and (L. K. Muthen & Muthen, 2002), respectively.
    This is from the editorial supervisor of APA journals, so it's as authoritative as it gets.
  • @adamsmith Yikes, that's definitive. We're good, then.
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