Citations randomly duplicated in plain text throughout document

edited December 27, 2016
I am writing my PhD thesis (in international law), which is due to submission in a couple of months. The thesis is a monograph of about 135 000 words as of now, with probably 1500-2000 Zotero citations. All in a single .odt file edited with LibreOffice 5.2 and the Zotero Writer plugin.

In the course of the last couple of weeks I have twice experienced that virtually all my citations are duplicated in plain text. Mostly with the correct citation in "field form" on a newline (see "a" in the picture below), but for ibid citations there is the occasional zero-length zotero citation field that will only expand upon a change of citation style back and forth for the entire document (see "b" in the picture below).

I have not been able to pin down the cause of this problem. It seems to have something to do with the updating of references throughout the document when inserting new citations. Today I thought I was in a great position for debugging, as the error occured just after I created a backup. But, after going back to the backup and doing the same actions, the bug/error did not reoccur.

Given the amount of citations, it is a pain in the ass to go through each and every footnote and manually delete the plain-text duplicates. I am thus hoping to find out if this is a known issue, with a readily available fix, or if I just have to schedule some extra hours of error-fixing into my already tight schedule. All help and suggestions are much appreciated.

(I am willing to share the document pre- and post-duplication with a trusted Zotero developer, on the condition that it is deleted afterward.)
  • While it seems like this is quite rare, it's not the first time that I've heard of it, but no, there's no known or easy fix -- we don't even know what causes it, nor would we have a terribly good way of troubleshooting. It's not even clear whether it's a Zotero or LO bug (LO will certainly say it's a Zotero issue, so don't bother reporting it there).
    I'd try to avoid the giant document -- it may well be some memory-related issue, but you may not want to do that for a different reason.
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