citation problem - multiple articles from same author in the same year

Hi there!
I am a new user of zotero, and so far I am very happy with it. Thank you all for this nice program! However, I have a minor problem. I often cite more than one article from the same author(s) in the same year. I use to differentiate them like "author year", "author year a", "author year b" (not so unusual, isn't it?). Now, if I put in a letter in the date section in zotero, the article appears as "0000" in the middle column, and alike in a paper if I cite-while-write it.
Anybody out there who can help me please?

Sorry if this was discussed already a million times. But it seems I have problems with the search function on this page. I spent a lot of time with it but found nothing adequate.
  • Leave the year as is in Zotero itself, and, as long as the authors are identical in Zotero, the word processor plugin will take care of the disambiguation for you. Adding letters to the dates in Zotero just prevents it from being able to parse the dates, which is why you're getting "0000".
  • Hi Dan,

    Thank you! Indeed, the word processor plugin does the job now. But what a pity that my basic bibliography gets now way more confusing...
  • What do you mean by your "basic bibliography"?
  • Yeah, well, the one in zotero itself, where I find now 5 entries like John Doe 2005. Its not a big deal. But e.g. to indicate what is the (edited) book, and what are single sections I think the letters are very useful.
  • You mean in the items list in the middle pane? Don't the sections have different titles? For book sections, the middle pane displays the section title, not the book title.

    Besides, disambiguation letters aren't a good way to permanently distinguish sources—they're specific to the particular set of items you choose for a particular bibliography. Otherwise, if you didn't include one section for a particular paper, or included them in a different order, you'd need to go back to Zotero and reorder all of the sections. They also may be style-specific. The plugin handles this all for you automatically.

    In the future Zotero will offer support for hierarchical item types, which will allow you to display book sections under the edited books from which they come.
  • For some reason, the word processor plugin is not handling this problem for me. The authors & years are the same. Thoughts?
  • Which citation style are you using? The citation style language is highly flexible, and each CSL style attempts to disambiguate citations according to the guidelines of the journal or publisher that the style supports.
  • I'm using the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
  • Check to make sure the author names are entered in your database EXACTLY the same. If they are, it should work as you expect.
  • They're entered in exactly the same. However, there are multiple authors for each. Could this possibly be the problem? The authors are entered in the same order though.
  • Are you by any chance citing the same names once as bookeditors and another time as contributors to the same volume?
  • Nope. It's two journal articles.
  • Matthew,

    I can't reproduce your problem, unfortunately. I just installed a fresh version of Zotero 1.5b2, installed the style of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and created two database entries like so:

    Title: Article A
    Author: Doe, John
    Author: Roe, Jane
    Date: 2000

    Title: Article B
    Author: Doe, John
    Author: Roe, Jane
    Date: 2000

    The I ran OpenOffice, and created two citations. They come out looking like so:

    First cite (Doe and Roe 2000a), second cite (Doe and Roe 2000b).

    If you are using Zotero 1.5, this describes your input, and you are still having problems, I would probably try reinstalling the plugin in the word processor and Zotero in Firefox, and see if that helps. Out of the box, it seems to work exactly as it is designed to do.
  • I had been using Zotero 1.0. I installed 1.5 and everything seems to be working. thanks
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