first name letter in citation

  • No it adds them as R.Crawford and C.Crawford within the document. Now even if that is an intended behaviour, it doesn't explain why it does not do it with *all* authors with the same name.

    So for example I can have (Jones, 1993) and (Jones, 1995) and (Jones, 2000) who are all different authors and it does not try to make any of them R.Jones, yet for other entries, it will make them (T.Wilson, 2008) and (C.Wilson, 2003).

    Looking more closely - it seems to occur when the author is a) one of two authors and b) are the lead author but again it does not happen in all cases, it is not consistent.
  • It's the Joneses that need explaining. At least in Harvard they should be used with initial. I'm at a bit of a loss of why they aren't.
  • How about you join the CSL styles development group and share a test set of references so as to make sure everyone is troubleshooting with the exact same data?

    Perhaps a subcollection 'Troubleshooting' in the group library is the best way to do it.
  • Hi, I've the same problem. I've one reference that looks like that: processes of the European Union (Stephen Padgett & Bulmer 2004; Bulmer et al. 2007; Armstrong & Bulmer 1998). Of course it should be without Stephen. At some point I had two references to Padgett's artciles, one containing full name and other only abbreviation when I inserted both citations into one paper Zotero rightfully differentiated between two by adding name to one. Right now I amended both records in the Zotero library, each contains full name of the author. Unfortunately, one citation is still displayed wrongly in the document. I tried refreshing many times. The only solution I see is simply removing the name from a record in Zotero lib.
  • konradz - something is almost certainly still wrong in your database. maybe slight difference in spelling? Another Padgett that you have overlooked? Maybe you broke the reference? Could you try re-inserting the exact same reference?
  • edited December 13, 2009
    To some extent that's true. As it appears, the problem was some old reference to the same document that had S. instead of full author's name. The reference was only in the Word document, I amended record in the Zotero library earlier. I removed that citation and added it again (the same citation). It seems like Zotero "read again" its library recognised that both citations refer to the same article and reckoned that there is no need to differentiate between S. Padgett and Stephen Padgett. Right now both citations are displayed correctly.
  • Hi
    I have the same problem. I read the thread and tried everything on it and it didn't help, although I don't know how to handle CSL files so didn't try that.
    I have that problem all the time and now it's getting really troublesome as I have many pages and a lot to fix...
    example: (Kim Bartholomew & L. M. Horowitz, 1991) instead of (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). I have another Bartholomew in the DB, but he stands alone, and also changed the name to be exactly the same, nothing worked. I have many of these, and getting really frustrated... Help anyone?
  • I am really frustrated. It appears Zotero includes the full name in the in-text citation for references with the same surnames. I am getting worried.

    What should I do.
  • @Ben Quaye,

    What version of Zotero are you running?
  • after a lot of frustration I finally learnt how to read this code.
    There is actually a line inside the APA style that tell Zotero to do this.
    So I edited the style file and removed that line, now it doesn't do that anymore.
    I can send it to who ever wants, you just save it on your computer and use it instead of the APA style existing now. send your email and I'll send you the corrected file.
  • edited January 17, 2011
    Zotero is designed to do this for a reason, of course.

    Turning off disambiguation entirely in the way that Dana suggests is certainly an option, so long as you don't mind ambiguity in your references. Zotero 2.0 has some small quirks in this area, but a very large amount of effort has gone into the citation processor inside Zotero 2.1 to make the behavior uniform and predictable.

    Just sayin'.
  • You'll see that the kb article Frank links to has a link to this:
    which contains easy to follow, step-by-step instructions on how to remove that option yourself (though note Frank's warning). Yes, technically it's "code", but it's really not harder to do than, e.g., posting on a discussion board.
  • Hi Dana Sinai,
    my email is
    please send me the corrected file.
  • the current APA style is correct. If you're having problems please describe them.
  • with some authors zotero inserts both the first name and the last name of the author in the citation. I tried to click in the area next to the authors name in zotero to make it 2 space, but this did not solve the problem.
  • what's an example? You're likely seeing:
    which is required in APA style. Make sure that all versions of the same author are entered exactly the same way.
  • Adamsmith,
    thank you very much that was helpful. I also have another problem you might help me with. Sometimes when I use a reference, I get letters next to the references, e.g. (Holes, 1987a). I realize that this occurred because I had 2 entries for the same reference. I tried deleting one of them in zotero, but I still get this double reference (as cited) when I use the quick format in the document. I tried to go over the whole document right from the beginning and tried to insert the citations all over again, but I still get these letters. when I use a new document I do not get this problem.
  • for future reference, you want to merge those items, not delete one:

    Right now, the best you can do is to figure out which of the two is still in your library:
    Insert a new Holes 1987 citation, selecting it not from "Cited" but from "My Library" in the quick format dialog (the red-framed box). See if that's 1987a or 1987b. Let's assume it's 1987a. In that case replace all instances of Holes 1987b, again always making sure to select the item under "My Library".
  • I didn't read all the answers, but I wanted to share what fixed the problem for me: Make sure you have all the forenames spelled the same (for the author, if he's the editor and importantly if there's an entry with the author as a co-author, so search for the authors name and edit all the entries, so they are the same.
    That fixed the problem for me (so far...)
  • edited August 19, 2015
    I am having this issue and don't relish going through all my very many zotero references to match up names. Is there a new better way to deal with this or should I try some of the things suggested above?

    I have tried updating Zotero (using version 4.0.28) but I seem to have the new version.

    My references are in APA. I tried going back and making names consistent for a few of the authors this was happening to and it works for some but not others.

    I am running Windows 8, have made sure that my computer is completely updates. I have been using Zotero for years for all sorts of huge documents with a lot of all sorts of references and often multiple things with the same author and have never had this problem before.
  • The disambiguation feature requires that all names are exactly the same. For example, "Wright, R.", "Wright, R. S.", "Wright, Robert S.", and "Wright, Robert" will all be treated as different authors. So, you will need to make sure that authors for cited papers are all entered consistently in your Zotero database.

    If you've fixed the authors in the database, make sure to refresh the Word document by adding/editing a citation or clicking the Refresh button. If you are still seeing disambiguation, it is very likely that (1) the disambiguation is correct (i.e., there are really multiple authors that should be disambiguated--note that APA has very liberal rules for disambiguation), or (2) there is still an author with a different spelling being cited in your document.
  • I tried going over my database (have now done this for 10 names or so) 2 of them got fixed but the rest are still incorrect. I have tried refreshing and even opening and closing the document. What I do not understand is how this has never happened to me before when I have lots of other documents with many of the same references using APA.
  • No changes on this on the Zotero/CSL side for several years, including the APA style.

    For the authors where you changed the name but it didn't work, you can look at the full underlying citation data by pressing alt+F9 in Word. Does that reflect your changes in Zotero?
  • No they do not seem to reflect the changes :/ I tried restarting zotero and word, retyped in one of the names that have issues and everything. I removed a middle initial for one author (it was only used on one reference) and I don't see it in the zotero window when I look at the references there but when I do a search for the name with middle initial (Name M.) in the Zotero search window there are still 3 entries from that author that come up :(
  • Hmmm -- but if you can find them you can edit them, no? Or what am I missing?
  • Yeah I explained it poorly. So if I type in say Jon F. three entries come up but when I go to the author boxes on the right it only says Smith and in the next Jon (there is no F. anymore) but it is like there is a sort of ghost of the former author name spelling.
  • ah OK, I wouldn't worry about that part then. That's likely just an indexing cache. But what about my original question when looking at the data in the Word Field in the document? That's the only thing that matters for the citations.
  • Yes it is still incorrect when I do alt+f9 in the document.
  • Could you post the uri of one of those items here?
    Then insert an entirely new citation (ideally one that's not in the document -- doesn't matter what it is) and post the URI of that?
  • What is a uri? :)
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