false duplicates

I have biblio entries from the same author, with identical titles, but in different publications (the one is the early discussion paper, another one the main article, the last a technical report). Two of them have different publication years.
However, Zotero treats the three different items as duplicates.

The same for the volumes of a two-volume book of an identical author, with the same publication year, in which the difference is in the volume number and name.
How to handle these falso duplicates ?

  • there's no way to handle them -- just ignore them. If you want, you can use a 'no duplicate' colored tagged to identify them more quickly.
  • edited January 5, 2016
    I have intentionally avoided even looking at the Zotero SQL file structure much less looking at the DB tables themselves, so what I say below may not make sense here.

    With SafetyLit, the journal article table has a field for id numbers of articles that are not duplicates. The admin test utility for duplicates has (in addition to select-delete and merge) the option to mark each of a pair as not-duplicate. The utility writes the appropriate id numbers to the not duplicate field of the record in the article table. If another false duplicate is found that second id is added to the appropriate records and the id numbers of the first two records are added to this new record.

    That way the marked duplicates will not appear in the duplicate list unless another record is added that is a potential duplicate.

    The entire duplicate management system required only a few hours of work by our web developers.
  • I discovered a way to bypass the problem in general. When several entries with identical titles, authors, etc. exist I add an additional info, like WP for working paper , to the title. This is not very elegant and has to be eliminated for use in a bibliography, but it works for the data base to reduce false duplicates.

    However, in the following case titles are different, all the rest of the biblio variables are identical, so this should not be a duplicate. How to proceed here ?

    State, Economy, and Society in Western Europe 1815-1975: A Data Handbook in Two Volumes. Vol. I: The Growth of Mass Democracies and Welfare States
    Type Book
    Author Peter Flora
    Author Jens Alber
    Author Richard Eichenberg
    Author J├╝rgen Kohl
    Author Franz Kraus
    Author Kurt Seebohm
    Place Frankfurt am Main/ Chicago
    Publisher St James Press
    ISBN 978-0-912289-06-9
    Date 1987
    Library Catalog Amazon
    Language English
    Short Title State, Economy, and Society in Western Europe 1815-1975

    State, Economy, and Society in Western Europe 1815-1975: A Data Handbook in Two Volumes. Volume II: The Growth of Industrial Societies and Capitalist Economies
    Type Book
    Author Peter Flora
    Author Franz Kraus
    Author Winfried Pfenning
    Place Frankfurt am Main/ Chicago
    Publisher St James Press
    ISBN 978-0-912289-06-9
    Date 1987
    Library Catalog Amazon
    Language English
    Short Title State, Economy, and Society in Western Europe 1815-1975
  • I can tell you why this is happening, though I don't have a solution:
    The duplicate detection treats items of type book with identical ISBNs as duplicates withouth (I believe) even checking the rest of the information.
    You could try maybe adding something to the volume field -- if they were very clever in implementing this, different volume numbers would prevent this from showing up as a duplicate.
  • You answer helped me solve the question, but in a different way than you proposed. I just did not see the solution.

    I only deleted the ISBN which is, in fact, identical. This distinguishes the two volumes different during the duplicate control.

    I had already tried to distinguish the two volumes by adding the volume number but, to my surprise, this was not enough to distinguish them.

    Thanks !
  • edited March 17, 2016
    There should never be more than one book with the same ISBN. If it appears that two or more volumes have the same ISBN this should be an indicator that there is something wrong and things are not as they seem.

    The ISBN ftr lists above (9780912289069) is for the 1987 St. James Press version volume 2.

    As I was in a library and adjacent to the stacks containing the book, being curious and OCD, I found the ISBN by looking at the actual print volumes. The ISBN for the print version of volume 1 is 9780912289007.

    While Zotero and Zotero translators can save data entry time and make writing and citing a breeze, Zotero can only translate records accurately when the source is accurate or the accurate source is viewed.

    I believe that it is essential to read the source when citing it. It is essential to confirm that the metadata in Zotero matches the source that is cited (paper/print, revised version, e-book, etc.) Don't trust everything you see on the internet.

    It required far less time for me to confirm the ISBNs than it did for me to write this post

    Incidentally, the library has two versions of the series, the ISBNs for the 1983 editions are:
    9783593331386 (v. 1)
    9783593331393 (v. 2)

    The library catalog shows two more print hardcover editions by Campus Verlag and by Macmillan Press, each with their own set of ISBNs

    The ISBN for the electronic version is 978-1-349-06936-1
    There are also ISBNs for paper-back editions.

    Often, but certainly not always, will a book series as a whole have its own ISBN for the whole with each volume having its own ISBN. It isn't unheard of to cite an entire multi-volume series.
  • If it wasn't clear from my post above, Zotero _should_ flag items with identical ISBNs as duplicates. This, if only to indicate that something is wrong with the metadata in the Zotero record.
  • I am gathering from this that there is really not a way to tell Zotero to stop showing you a particular duplicate pair without editing the record to disambiguate.

    An additional challenge is that the duplicates view won't let you edit the metadata there?

    In some cases in my library, the dup view won't even show me the metadata; e.g., if one of the supposed dups is a conference paper and the other is a journal article, I just see a blank panel with a message that duplicates must be of the same type to be merged.

    It would be so much more efficient to edit within the duplicate list rather than having to find the records in my library, and edit there. Am I doing it wrong?
  • Susan: You can use the arrow keys on the keyboard after clicking a set with the mouse to to select a single item and edit it. (You can also use the usual platform-specific modifier keys to unselect individual items.)
  • Dan: Holy moly--thank you!!
  • I'm having a somewhat different false duplicate problem (this in Zotero Standalone). I have several sets of alleged duplicates where one of the items is almost completely different from its supposed dup. in each case, the journal is the same for the putative duplicates, but everything else-- authors, article titles, and publication year-- is different. Any ideas why this might be happening and how to get Zotero to stop seeing them as dups?
  • I figured out the solution to the problem I just posted about alleged dups where almost all fields appeared different. The culprit was the DOI field (which I hadn't looked at closely before). In each case I've checked, these bogus dups all have identical DOIs. Evidently Zotero regards a DOI match as overriding any other differences. How the DOIs got messed up to begin with is a question for another day.
  • edited December 30, 2016
    This may be completely unrelated but I have noticed that sometimes Google Scholar has incorrect DOIs. Sometimes the same DOI appears for an item, items the original item cites, and items citing the original item. Curiously, when clicking on a GS link to items with incorrect DOIs, I am taken to the correct item on the publisher's website.

    edit: The last time I spoke with my contact at GS (several months ago) I pointed out this duplicate DOI problem and she seemed appalled that no one had noticed and that no other user had complained. She agreed that it shouldn't be possible for identical DOIs to be listed with different items. She promised that they would get to the bottom of how the problem appeared in the first place and that the error checking systems would be revised to keep this from occurring again. To her credit, I haven't noticed the problem recently.

    Nonetheless, as a result, I always follow GS links to the publisher to download metadata when creating a Zotero record. Not only can I always get the correct DOI, but I also get motr complete metadata and an abstract. I try to always open the link in a new tab so that I can get back to the point of origin on GS.

    It is reasonable for Zotero to assume duplicate DOIs = duplicate items. There shouldn't _ever_ be different items assigned to the same DOI.

    Although not technically supposed to happen; there shouldn't be more than one DOI assigned to a single item. [Alas, some publishers assign a new DOI when an ePub evolves to a final print version.] Also, in violation of the 'rules', sometimes when a journal moves to a different publisher, the new publisher assigns a new DOI and the old publisher abandons the items original DOI. I've been conversing with good folks at the DOI Foundation and at CrossRef to see if there might be a way to block the DOI new/abandoned problem. In theory, linking using an 'old' DOI should still take you to the new location. However, too frequently the link goes to an error page on the old publisher site.
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